If there is no question…

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If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

A very common philosophy problem/argument. If no one is aware that the tree has made the sound, does the sound in fact occur? Some have answered the question stating that it would not make a sound. Their reasoning for this is that sound is something that only occurs in a human ear when something (air or object) is set in motion. Therefore, if no one is in the vicinity to observe with an ear, to input the motion of the tree, the the tree would not in fact make a sound.

However, the tree will make a noise (which is a hearable noise), even if no one is around to hear it. The noise would be hearable IF someone was around to hear it.

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Sometimes we, as a human nature characteristic, become frantic when we get caught up in our desperation to solve our problems when everything seems to be going wrong. We start trying to fix every single thing and begin trying to change everything in our midst. We respond with frustration and anger and turn everything in to a huge philosophical problem that, like the tree making a sound question, we go around and around with and see no end or solution. Sometimes, we need to stop asking the questions, and stop trying to fix everything and work towards acceptance. If we constantly focus on all things negative in our lives, that is what we will continue to dwell on. In doing this, a negative cyclical pattern emerges.

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Conversely, pondering the first meme posted on this writing….Sometimes, when you simply surrender, and quiet yourself, answers will appear. Even when you have not asked a specific question, or if you have asked a very generalized question a very long time ago and stopped searching for the answers, often times something will come along in your life and you will not even realize that was the key or one of the components that was missing. That was one of the turning points when it wasn’t ever something on your radar when you had tried so very hard to change everything that you thought was plaguing you.

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Or when you’re Sheldon Cooper from the “Big Bang Theory” and your formulas or theories “just won’t coalesce”. Sometimes after pounding formulas or thought processes from the approach you think it should logically come from for what seems like forever, when you’re on the brink of giving up, maybe you have given up, and suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, the answer itself, or the method for solving the problem comes to you.

My music research project illuminated a problem with an answer to a question I was never even asking in the first place. I saw the answer first which made me ask the question next.

If there is no question, or if you are not asking the right question, is there an answer? What is the answer called if the answer came before the question? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? All of the problems and solutions the thinkers of the world grapple with frantically, until they decide not to.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/frantic/

My Angel

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This pin served as my mental talisman until I finally found my angel for real. This is the pin that my birth mother pinned on me in the hospital before she gave me up for adoption. She told the adoption agency to make sure it went with me when I was adopted. My adoptive parents made sure to show it to me when I was growing up, and told me I would get it when I got older. But here I am, 40 years old and they are the ones who still have it. I have never asked for it because they made it abundantly clear how hurt they would be if I ever searched and they answered my questions but they always had a way of letting me know her place in my life according to them and how THEY are my parents. I always thought of this pin like Annie’s locket, her way of confirming who her birth parents were. The only piece of them she had. When I was at my adoptive parents house in 2016, I snuck in to their bedroom where I knew my adoptive mom kept this pin, and I searched for it, and sure enough it was right where I thought it would be. I took this picture of it so I would at least have a picture of it since they wouldn’t willingly give it to me without me having to upset them and ask for it, and who knows what kind of hell that would drudge up. I always remembered what it looked like. And I always thought of my birth mom as a sort of life bound human guardian angel because of it.

My song of the day is Angel by Sarah Mclachlan. Today I thought of this song because I am making a journal with all of the songs that make me think of my birthmom. I had forgotten about this one and it just randomly popped in to my head today while I was driving. Sure enough, 2 or so songs later, what comes on my playlist but that song. I truly have a crazy psychic energy manifesting connection with the universe. If only I can learn how to use that to better manifest other aspects of my destiny and journey. If I can simply learn how to channel that for my life’s path, I will be unstoppable.

Talisman

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I have ritualistic jewelry that I wear for my performances, a sort of talisman. It originally started with just my pearl and diamond earrings that were my grandmother’s that we had converted from clip on in to pierced after she passed away. I have worn those since I was in college. Since then, I have added other diamond like dangle earrings, black pearl drop earrings and my dragon cuff earring who whispers in my ear as I play my melodies. He breathes the life force spirit in to me and I breathe out the music spirit. There have also been specific rings, necklaces and bracelets added as well over time. It may seem silly, but it has just come to be a grounding technique for me as I perform.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/talisman/

Happy St. Patty’s

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Embracing the Irishness I didn’t know I had until 3 years ago when I found my birthdad. Happy St. Patty’s Day WordPress Nation. Today’s song of the day has always been a favorite of mine, even before I knew I was Irish. I am disappointed with the video for this song. I always picture a fairy or witches ceremonial circle dancing around in the woods/Forrest in a very magical type of setting when I hear this song. Something like what the picture below depicts. At any rate, this song is appropriate for today with all it’s Celtic lore.

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Music or Philosophy?

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Music is the art of combining tones to form expressive compositions, any rhythmic sequence of pleasing sounds (Webster’s Dictionary 1990). Philosopophy is the study of the principles underlying conduct, thought and the nature of the universe, the general principles or laws of a field of knowledge, or a particular system of ethics (Webster’s Dictionary 1990). John Cage, a 20th century American Composer, has been most widely known for his experimental compositions and philosophies on music in general. His most notorious work is 4’33”, otherwise known as his “silent piece”, in which the performer of the work remains still for four minutes and thirty-three seconds and does not produce a single note. Through this “silence”, Cage intends for the audience to take in the surrounding natural noises and treat them as music. Is he, then, simply stretching compositional techniques as did his groundbreaking predecessors, or is this piece a demonstration of philosophy rather than a musical composition?

Music is a form of self-expression, according to Langer. This connotation is the most widespread to this day. But John Cage had his own purpose for writing music. He adopted the Indian idea that, “the purpose of music is to sober and quiet the mind, thus making it susceptible to divine influences”. He also agreed with Coomaraswamy that it was “the responsibility of the artist to imitate nature in her manner of operation” (as cited by Revill). With his new insight into Eastern tradition, Cage’s purpose to quiet the mind was anything but achieved through initial performances of 4’33”.

The first performance of John Cage’s 4’33” created a scandal. At the premiere some listeners were unaware that they heard anything at all. People began whispering to one another, and some people began to walk out. They didn’t laugh-they were just irritated when they realized nothing was going to happen, and they haven’t forgotten it 30 years later: they’re still angry (according to Solomon).

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Cage knew before the piece premiered that it would probably be taken as a joke, but he knew that it was pertinent for him to do so because he felt it was the highest form of work. He stated that he did not write shocking pieces in order to receive that reaction. But despite the audience reaction, Cage remained hopeful that 4’33” would eventually have the impact he intended. He had come to realize through his Zen studies that one hardly ever learned or understood anything right away, but that understanding would come later, or perhaps not at all.

The underlying conflict with 4’33” is that for one to accept the piece as music, one must fully accept Cage’s philosophy of music. In order to accept this philosophy, one must abandon the traditional definition of music. For as Cage saw it, there was no such thing as silence. He came to this conclusion when he subjected himself to an abechoic chamber at Harvard University. He actually had expected to hear nothing, but instead he heard two sounds. When he asked the engineer about these sounds, he was told that the higher pitched sound was his nervous system and the lower pitched sound was his blood circulating. In an attempt to redefine silence as the absence of intended sounds, rather than the absence of all sound, he wrote 4’33” in order to heighten the awareness of the audience to surrounding noises. Cage was concerned with humanity accepting all noises of nature as music. But in order to do so, Cage had to change the world’s views, since this was not an accepted practice up until this time. Cage felt that music was a means of changing the mind, and thus his goal of composing was to change minds from the traditional usage of music as a form of expression to one of being aware.

Cage’s music must be subservient to his views and philosophies since his music dissipates all former views of music and is reliant on the acceptance of his philosophies. “Cage does not argue with the premises if traditional music. He rejects them wholesale for reasons which can only be inferred from his own position.” Cage believed that “everything is permitted if zero is taken as the basis. If you’re non-intentional, then everything is permitted.” Yet he knew the audience was “intending” to hear music in the traditional sense when he premiered 4’33”. In order to accept 4’33” in the way he ‘intended’ it to be taken, one must first change one’s method of thinking, which was the purpose of the piece. But if the purpose was to change the audience’s mind, then was it music when it was first experienced, or, was it an example of a philosophical groundbreaking work in action?

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Cage described his own position as a composer to be one where he changed his responsibility from making choices to asking questions. The answers are found in the content of the music (as noted by Kostelanetz). Cage was interested in what he did not know, and that is why his music is intended to ask questions. Cage insisted that music is not meant to be understood hut ht is about being aware and freeing oneself from likes and dislikes. However, in order to accept outside noises as music in the sense Cage is seeking, one must understand his logic and his philosophies before one can be aware of those things that he wished the world would see.

Cage believed that “if the composer has any function at all, it should be teaching people to keep attuned to all the implicit music that their environment offers.” Cage became more of a teacher figure with the performance of 4’33” than he was a composer. He set the framework and taught his unsuspecting audience a lesson in awareness.

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“Instead of a music of definable identity, we have conceptions whose essence is a lack of identity” (according to Pritchett). Cage stated that his favorite piece is one that is heard anytime, all the time, if we simply open our awareness and listen. But this requires no composing since it simply exists in nature. Although Cage did teach people to be aware of this ongoing ‘silent’ music, he, by no means, composed those sounds heard in nature. He gave up all control, with the exception of how long the audience was subjected to this ”silence”, and this denounced his position as a composer of a musical work with the composition of 4’33”. When Kostelanetz interviewed Cahe and asked him whether he still viewed his compositions as his own in the sense that he created them, Cage responded that he did. He explained that instead of exercising his control to compose, he asked questions that were answered by the process and within the process. But this is precisely the type of work done by philosophers, not musical composers. To compose, as defined by the Webster’s New World Dictionary, means to put into proper form or to create, this to exercise control over the content of the work at hand. Control, however, is precisely what Came gave up with the inception of 4’33”, because the sounds within the four minutes and thirty-three seconds we’re not under his control.

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Because Cage left 4’33” to nature to truly compose the content within those four minutes and thirty-three seconds, he has essentially given up his position as a composer. Because the “philosophical underpinnings are clearly more significant than any more sound”, the ideas become the content of the piece, which are thusly not musical. Though Cage had a strong musical training, his music became more conceptual than an auditory experience, which is the essence of music. “Conceptual music is either musicless music or it requires the reinvention of music” (according to Kostelanetz). Obviously, this was precisely Cage’s purpose, to reinvent music. However, if his purpose was to reinvent music through 4’33”, then this piece could not be considered music upon first experience because people’s minds would have to have already been open to 4’33” being music. Music had always been an immediate experience, not something that had to be contemplated after the fact. Though the audience may have accepted Cage’s point that all sounds are music, they could not have done so until the premiere of 4’33”, and thus, at that point in time, it could not be considered music. After the first Performance, the effect of the piece disappeared because the word spread about the piece and people were given the chance to ponder the issue without hearing the piece. This, the lesson could be taught without the performance of 4’33”.

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After the premiere of 4’33”, people were able to perform the work at any time in their lives. Yet, people were able to do so before 4’33”, if one was learned in the Eastern tradition of meditation. Cage felt that 4’33” was a “musical work that went on constantly, an invitation of the ultimate unity of music and life”. Cage was simply demonstrating to his audience, and the world (particularly Western cultures), what he had learned by way of his Zeb studies. He formulated what he discovered and put together an active demonstration which forced people to experience what he had learned, rather than by telling them in a traditional manner. Though he did use a musical setting (the use of a performer, a musical instrument, a concert audience, and a notated score), he was merely demonstrating the lesson he had learned. Although he used the subject matter of music (as he defines it), it was essentially an uncomposed work.

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Suzanne Langet, a leading philosopher contemporary with Cage, described the usage of natural sounds as musical material or models which composers may reconstruct into symbols to be used in a composition. But those unintentional sounds, utilized in an unconscious manner, are not art in and of themselves. She also believes the composer is the original subject of the symbols depicted in a composition. Yet Cage was not the original subject because the “music” to be heard in 4’33” was composed by nature, this making nature the subject. Even though Cage vehemently opposed the use of symbols in his compositions, he used them in 4’33”. The performer of the work served as a symbol, as did the composition itself, because no piece ought to be composed or performed for something that is naturally occurring in nature since the sounds are of nature, Cage had no hand in composing those sounds. He was only responsible for people’s awareness of those sounds, which was the concept of the piece, not the content.

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Kostelanetz describes Cage as a polyartist or one who “finds new media for his signature.” He describes how Cage used several medium (including visual art, theatrical productions and writing) to express his underlying thoughts rather than using just one medium. With this statement, Kostelanetz is classifying Cage as a jack of all trades, master of none. It is true that one must study music in order to compose, and Cage had composed several standard works aside from 4’33”. However, someone with no musical training could have composed a piece exactly like 4’33”. A Zen philosopher could have used music as his medium in order to awaken an audiences awareness to natural sounds just as Cage did, but he would not, therefore, be considered a musician. Buddhists, in fact, perform 4’33” daily, with the exception of the time frame of four minutes and thirty-three seconds, but they call it meditation.

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Even though Cage did compose pieces that utilized his musical training, this should not automatically categorize everything he composes as music. Cage also wrote poetry that is not counted among his music compositions. Yet, according to his philosophy that all sound is music, would not the speaking voice this be considered music when his poetic words are spoken? But still his poetry is not categorized as music. In a conversation with Cage, Kostelanetz referred to Cage’s work “Empty Words” as a literary work as it is deemed by all resources, but Cage labeled it as a “transition from literature to music.” Yet “Empty Words” is not listed as a musical work by Cage.

George Kubler observed that “the work of many artists often comes closer to philosophical speculation than most aesthetic writings.” Cage even admitted that he “intellectually programmed himself out of a musical career.” Yet he continued to compose because of the promise he made to his instructor Schoenberg to dedicate his life to music. Donald Henaham thinks that Cage perhaps redefined his position as a philosopher of modern music after he decided he would not be one of the worlds greatest composers.

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Philosophy is the general principle or laws of a field of knowledge. The philosophy of music is that which John Cage sought to change. He attempted to do so through his work 4’33”. Though that piece contained music as it’s content, it was through that work that Cage defined music as all sounds. If an audience listening to 4’33” is not aware they are listening to music, it cannot be music until the point when they accept that they are listening to music. Since the piece itself was the vehicle for this changing of the mind, it cannot be music until the change of mind has occurred. Rather, it is a work of philosophy in which the ideas are demonstrated instead of written. The setting of a musical composition is the medium used in 4’33” to open people’s awareness to Cage’s new principles of music. But the work is significant because of it’s underlying concepts, not because of it’s content. The content of the piece is uncontrolled by Cage and can be experienced in every day life. Thus, Cage transforms his philosophical ideas into the medium of his self-prescribed definition of music, making the work one of philosophy rather than of a musical experience.

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(Take notice of this last meme and that Cage is listed in the 4th level)- I wrote this paper when I was in college in 1999. Considering memes are a new commodity, it looks as though in the 21st century, since laying out my ideas in this research and opinion paper that was current and progressive during that time frame, that Cage has come to be accepted as one of the more socially accepted composers, or at least not one of the least disattached from social dogma. There are others who are more wholly disenchanted with the social norms than John Cage was. Society has evolved, and it has been due to pioneers like that of John Cage!!!!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/noise/

My Immortal

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 “My Immortal”
By: Evanescence

I’m so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
‘Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won’t leave me aloneThese wounds won’t seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There’s just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I’d wipe away all of your tears
When you’d scream I’d fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

You used to captivate me by your resonating light
Now I’m bound by the life you left behind
Your face, it haunts my once pleasant dreams
Your voice, it chased away all the sanity in me

These wounds won’t seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There’s just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I’d wipe away all of your tears
When you’d scream I’d fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

I’ve tried so hard to tell myself that you’re gone
But though you’re still with me
I’ve been alone all along

When you cried I’d wipe away all of your tears
When you’d scream I’d fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me
All of me… me… me…

Song Thoughts:
I’ve had this song running through my head since yesterday because it has the word “captivate” in it and yesterday’s word prompt of the day was captivating. This morning when I got in my car and put on my playlist, it was one of the first songs that came on. I have always been psychic, or an energy worker or a manifester of sorts….whatever you want to call this sort of “magic”. I also had a psychic moment again this morning where as I was walking in to school to teach, a wave came over me that told me that my first student would not be there today, and sure enough she wasn’t. She has not missed any lessons this year, and generally hasn’t missed many in the past from absences. My brainwaves are in tune with the universe right now.
This morning as I was listening to this song, it took on new meaning to me. My interpretation today in my life for this song is that “my immortal” is my inner child, the child in me that was broken so long ago. It made me reflect while listening to the lyrics that in some ways, even though I did experience my childhood in the moment with much anxiety and trauma, somehow as a child, it seemed like although I was greatly affected in the moment, I was able to let go mentally with much more ease, despite the fact that my personality was being shaped by the trauma. As an adult, I am now constantly spinning the childhood stories in my head and trying to get over the trauma now that I realize what it has done to me. I hope I can start to find that quality from childhood of mindfulness again and be able to silence the voices inside my head that are constantly reliving the past so that my inner child won’t have “all of me” until the day I expire…..

As above, so below

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As above, so below. This is a common phrase in the Wiccan and Pagan traditions. I thought I had a general grasp on the meaning of this phrase, but I decided to research it today when I decided to use this as the material for my post.

I was raised Roman Catholic, but was placed in a Fundamental, Born Again Baptist school for my elementary years. This ended up creating a ton of confusion for me in the religion department. Many would think that they are similar in that they are both Christian religions so they should be more compatible and shouldn’t have had that negative of an impact on me. But it started as early as 4 years old for me. I hadn’t started Sunday School for the Catholic faith yet, but I was already in my elementary school and being influenced by the Baptist faith. When the pastor at my school spoke of being saved and asking Jesus in to our hearts in order to go to Heaven, I wanted to make sure I was saved, so I did that one day at school when I was 4. I came home very proud of myself and told my Mom and Dad that I was saved and would be able to go to Heaven now. And my Dad’s response to that? In a yelling tone, “That’s crap. We don’t believe that. You don’t have to ask to be saved to go to Heaven. Who told you that?” As someone who was already very afraid of my Dad, you can imagine the kind of impression this had on me. I didn’t understand. I knew nothing about the Catholic faith yet. I only knew what I was being taught, and then I was yelled at when I got home for doing what an authority figure at the school he sent me to told me was a good thing.

After that scenario, things only got worse during my stay at that school through 6th grade. My Dad would constantly negate much of what they preached at school and there were many conflicts between moralistic values between the two religions. The pastor of my school had three children. One of which was in my class. All three of his children were not the most well behaved, which only gave my Dad more fuel for his fire. The son that was in my class picked on me horrifically in 5th grade and tried pushing me down the stairs and taught me sorts of choice curse words in 6th grade. His two older daughters were pregnant by 16 and 18. So all my Dad would speak about was how hypocritical the Pastor was.

Of course, my Dad failed to ever recognize how hypocritical he is as someone who claims to be religious yet remains married to my mother to this day and carried on a gay relationship with the same man for over 10 years until the man passed away, in addition to any other flings he had.

My moral compass is not made up from either of these sources. It comes from within and is not based in any religion. I believe it is engrained in my genetic makeup (since I am adopted) which was my saving grace through all of this confusion and hypocrisy through which I was raised.

When I got to college, I began to explore various religions and spiritual traditions. I found a journal that was the size of a text book but blank inside. I titled it a “Book of Shadows” just like the Wiccans used as this term resonated with me. I used it to research almost every religion there is. From Buddhism, to Islam, to Wiccan, to Judaism, to Rosacrucianism.

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The conclusion I came to after all of this research is that all of the religions, at their very core, all had the same main tenet or principle belief. The Golden rule. Do unto others as you’d have done to you. There were many different ways of expressing this, but it was all the same exact meaning. And they all believed in some higher power than themselves. That’s it. That is the basis of all of them. And that was what drive me religiously and spiritually through my 20’s and 30’s once I was put from the confines of my parents scrutiny.

Right before my 40th birthday, I realized I needed to make changes. One of the things that came to me as an insight was that I needed some sort of ritual. I have begun in recent months to have a nightly tea during which I have a personal ceremony of sorts. It does follow a sort of Wiccan type ritual, but it definitely has it’s own personal feel to it. I still have Christian roots in it. Each day of the week I have certain saints assigned based on what the Wiccan influences are and what patron Saints that are dear to my heart that match up with those influences. I say specific prayers to those saints on those days. I also say the Serenity Prayer in closing every time. I also have a pocket rosary which I intend to use when I have something that I need to atone for. I open each ritual by casting a circle and then making an invocation to either Ariadne or Pan, depending on whether the day of the week is a masculine or a feminine day.

Ariadne and Pan are my chosen God and Goddess. Ariadne is the name I gave to my clarinet back in high school because it is a mythology story that always resonated with me. I never really analyzed it back then, but now it makes total sense to me. Ariadne was abandoned by Theseus, much in the way I felt abandoned as someone who is an Adoptee. Dionysus rescued and loved her. Little did I know back then who my husband would end up being. He is someone who did love alcohol and was a little edgy and I felt as though he rescued me from my abandoned life. He also ended up being very similar to my birth father once I found my birth father a couple years ago. All crazy coincidences, yet something I was naturally drawn to. They say girls marry their dads, and I did just that without ever even having met mine.

During my ritual I use a wand from Harry Potter, corny as that might be. When we went to Universal for my 40th birthday and I got a new wand while we were in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I got the wand of Fleur Delacour. I chose this one for two reasons. First because I liked the design of it the best, and second because she embodied natural beauty, and confidence in my inner beauty shining forth so that I may feel more confident in my outer beauty is something I am trying to work on.

I also have on my altar as the center focal point, from Harry Potter as well, Fawkes the Phoenix, to represent rebirth. This is one of the main precepts of my entire journey right now and I want it to be the center focus of all that I do.

During my ritual I do alot with candles and received chakra balanced candles from my step daughter for my 40th birthday, so I burn the appropriate one to the corresponding day of the week and use an app to balance that chakra during my ritual. I am also starting to collect other candles that are just like the chakra candles and used for different purposes such as balance, motivation, prosperity etc…I am collecting different spells to help me dispell negative energy, shield myself from negative energy, aid in gaining confidence etc…

I fill out my daily inspirational journal and sometimes will write in my prayer journal or other journals and I read my nightly daily inspirational during this time. I sometimes pull a tarot card if I have a question that needs answering. I am trying to combine various religions, traditions and concepts that resonate in me to help me connect to my inner spirit.

So as I’ve been re-exploring some of the Wiccan traditions, and came across the saying As above, so below, I took it more as another interpretation of the Wiccan Rede, or a WWJD type of concept. But as I researched it, I came to find that it is actually much deeper than that. It is actually more the basic foundation of what the pagan and Wiccan religions are founded on. It is that the universe is the same as God and God is the same as the universe. Everything is one and the same. This is why pagan religions are so connected to the earth, because everything is one. Humans are an earthly manifestation of God or other dimensions and other dimensions and God are divine manifestations of humans. This is why Wiccans believe in magic using energy and that if it is willed in the mind, it can be made so, because everything is interconnected. If it is something that can be made or done up above, it is something that can be made or done below. The power of the mind is endless. It is science tifically stated that we only use about 10% of the brain’s capacity. So, perhaps these practices are elevating the capacity of the brain’s usage.

Most Christian religions think Wiccans are devil worshippers and evil. And sure, some may use powers for evil, but in my experience, many Christians can also be extremely hypocritical and evil. It is not what you believe, it is your actions. I choose to be a good person, make the best decisions I can, get my advice from my conscience, which is the voice from up above which runs through my thoughts, and I use the practices of many religions and traditions that make me feel spiritual.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/above/