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Give us this day our daily bread

Ok, I assume that Herald readers are familiar with the split-screen concept of TV news, right? Let’s say a tightrope walker’s inching across a thread swaying a mile above the Grand Canyon. On one hand you’re in your easy chair shooting advice from good ‘ole terra firma. On the other there’s this stomach-churning action playing out on the daredevil’s head cam.

In the same way, the SM@L column strives to be a perfectly grounded little chair that’s dedicated to investigating the five kinds of thought forms that we employ to create our experiential “reality.” We’ve been safely inching along for almost two years now, leaving only faint tracks between the fridge, the Obituaries, the Sports pages, The Snoop and Looking Backward. So far so good.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Activity Report, of course, soars high above the rest. That’s where everyone turns to follow life’s latest lessons in cause and effect and/or to keep close track of certain shirt-tail relatives.

At the same time, in our head cam, the split-screen view from Mother Nature’s perspective is growing queasy. And that’s why I’m asking the following off-hand question whenever I’m at a gas station or in the grocery store’s checkout line:

“So what do you think of the flu?” I’m referring to the coronavirus epidemic, 2019CoV, but don’t mention it by name. “I’m terrified” said a teenage checker at the busy box store. “You live on a farm?” I follow up without elaboration. “No. My grandparents do, though. I’m going there if I have to. . . I guess.”

The ​Yoga Sutras​ of Patanjali, written in Sanskrit-speaking India long ago and far away, is perhaps the first attempt to codify how everything we “know” arises from various powers and processes we call the human mind. Most tight-rope walkers, who discover cause and effect at an early age, are totally on board with this.

But for the rest of us, alas, the iPhone’s head cam has replaced any actual balanced relationship to nature. Now we learn that 380 people on an infected cruise ship were flown from Japan to an American military base for yet “another two week quarantine period.” Maybe it will come here, maybe not. Are we ready to cross the abyss at a time when Missouri produces 1.2% of its citizens’ food supply?

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton says that the virus did not originate from Wuhan’s market-zoo, but likely from some infected visitors. Also notable, The People’s Republic’s only bioweapon lab is located miles away and they’ve been lying to us from day one. Arkansas counts some 20,000 cases of the “normal” flu so far this year, a number we can handle, but not if the virus mutates.

So, I recommend a sort of a vaccine, Patanjali’s sutras (i.e., “threads”), to help us get calm, find the extraordinary experience gained by restraining the mind from arising as ripples (waves) or vibrations. Then, he says, we automatically enter the non-temporal expression of our eternal and One self. The term “God” is useful, also.

This unity state, called “Stillness,”or “Eternal Peace,” means the mind becomes one with the Unmoving Seer, or Self, or Light of the World. But we don’t need to die before we experience this unity. Source Awareness is where living things unconsciously “go,” when falling into the 4 Hz depths of the dreamless sleep state.

After this brief absence of a locatable “me and mine,” we then awaken to find ourselves mysteriously renewed and refreshed. All the cells get repaired, the mind is reset, and we’re ready to kick the can of our karmic predicament dramatically down the street. But without this rejuvenating (dreamless) sleep we’d die within hours or days.

It’s amazing, actually, that this process dictates our lives from birth until death yet our modern culture undercuts all curiosity about it. We know there are many reasons for our broken relationship to nature, but the loss of an ethos based on self-mastery is definitive. A quick Google search indicates no one has looked into this so far.

Just imagine one of those oligarchs (now openly buying America’s next election) mastering the process of deliberately entering and exiting unitary consciousness. Imagine he demonstrated the step-by-step goal of yoga, translated as “union,” resulting in a healthy society.

As fun as it would be to watch a billionaire become generous and loving, the claim of all religious traditions is, in fact, that when the mind returns to its source/sustainer, the illusion of a separate existence permanently ends.

So Patanjali identifies our experience of separation as “Maya.” It’s like we’re in a shared dream that had no beginning but which ends for any individual that awakens. He notes that we always “see” our mind and body acting in front of us, something like Plato’s cave, but if wrongly focused, we miss the unitary light. The breakdown of relationships is the hallmark of every pandemic, and what we have going now is the proof.

So, like a scientist, he describes the various ways the mind expresses itself as it creates thoughts, distinctions and desires. Normally, the mind is united with its projections of the world and is adamant that these projections are “real.” But the Seer always​ knows ​everything at every level of experience and is never affected or diminished by any of it.

How can we “Love our neighbor as ourselves” but not feed him nor us? When did “feed my sheep” succumb to “gimme my daily bread?” Our broken relationship to nature is a condition of perpetual juvenility, and America must cross a tightrope in order to remedy it.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns us that the virus may soon gain a “foothold” here at home. They also add that the kind of “War Powers” now holding down the lid in China may be prologue to our own tomorrow.

This is not a practice drill we can skip. Get yourself prepared. Here’s what the Farm Resettlement Congress (FRC) suggests: Buy your carrots, spinach and all such stuff while it’s still cheap and dehydrate as many pounds as you need to feed the ones you love for a long time and make space to store it properly.

Collect your favorite recipes and organize what you can grow or buy around them. The soil is warming and you can readily turn your lawn into a garden. A hundred pounds of sprouted organic seeds and grains will sustain an adult for a year (military studies). Low budget folks can thrive.

The fastest way to get your kid interested in reality is by not feeding him for a meal or two. Better yet, throw the electronic brain leech away until he/she learns to contribute something useful to their own survival. Speak gently, speak the truth, speak up now. OK, the shock of self-awareness will likely kill more of them than the flu, or learning to get around on their own two legs. But it’s a risk a grateful planet will be happy to see you take.

So, connect with your neighbors and get real about what’s coming. Practice the following words until the novelty of the approach takes root in your community:

“You’re in my vision of the future if I’m in yours. How can I help?” Tell them you plan for them to live as healthy, and happy, and long as possible.

We get letters. This in the mail this week: “Come join the festivities with your Ozarks neighbors at the 5th Annual O.N.E. Congress (Ozarks Neighborly Exchange).”

The theme of this local non-profit is Rural Renaissance and the motto is “A festival of neighbors helping neighbors, cultivating a resilient future for the Ozarks.” The date is Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Lutie School, Theodosia, MO.

They say “Come for the amazing speakers, performers, community potluck and vendors.”

The O.N.E group is a non-profit, and a modest donation at the door is greatly appreciated.

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