Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


This I know to be true.

Posted on April 12, 2005 by jimparedes

I’m taking a break from my book writing which seems to be progressing ever sooooo slowly. Been at it all afternoon and only a few pages done. I thought I’d write something quick for this blog.

The past 10 years has been a growth spurt for me especially in my spiritual life. I have done my own questioning, my intense investigations about earthly existence and its meaning(s) and continue to do so almost daily. I have done many meditations which have at times been unmistakable glimpses into the depths of life’s great mysteries itself. In so doing, I have picked up some important things I hold close to my heart.

I have also learned a few things from many masters, their lives, works and their books. Many of what they have written have resonated with me and I suspect will also with many readers of this blog, even if I know I only speak for myself about life as I have known it.

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I take great appreciation of Buddha’s observations regarding the acceptance of teachings. He says,

Rely on the message, not on the personality of the teacher.
Rely on the meaning, not just the words.
Rely on the real meaning, not just the provisional meaning.
Rely on your wisdom and insight, not just on your ordinary, judgmental mind.

I hope you do the above as you read below.

These truths below, I know are real for me.

1) That the second rule of life is survival and the first rule is that all are one.

2) That the pair of opposites such as good and bad, ugly and beautiful, etc. are necessarily with us because they not only validate each other but are inextricably linked. What is white if we do not know black?

By the way, many times they are also quite interchangeable. Haven’t we found ourselves eating our words and changing our beliefs, opinions, views and even our morality quite often?

3) That everything is perfect just as it is.

4) That one’s spiritual journey has reached an important and happy phase when almost everything one sees and encounters is God and there seems nothing else but God.

5)That if we can’t find heaven in the here and now, we will never find it.

6) That if we could ask God what life’s meaning was, God would say, ‘it’s up to you.’

7) That the biggest source of unhappiness is not living in the moment, and that the second one is the refusal to be fully conscious and accepting of one’s power to create.

8) That only what is eternal is real, that the spiritual journey is all about finding the eternal, timeless truths in this time-and-space bound temporal setup called ‘life’.

9) That we have it wrong when it comes to death. Death, contrary to our beliefs is probably the happiest moment in life since everything false and unreal about us disappears and what remains is only what is eternal and true. And we finally get to meet God and know the unknowable.

10) That despite the level or state of one’s spirituality and enlightenment, we still have to live on earth. The house still needs to be cleaned, the plates still have to be washed, laundry done and worldly matters attended to. Enlightenment is not exchanging earth for heaven but seeing heaven on earth.

11) That to understand life is to appreciate its immense complexities and to accept them as such is a step towards simplifying it.

12) That the truth really sets you free but sometimes can make you extremely mad and uncomfortable first.

13) That there is so-called little truth and there is big truth. Little truth has a near expiration date. Big truth is one which has not reached its expiration date, and it may seem like it never will.

14) That what we do for work speaks about what we have, and what we do for leisure speaks about what we are. And lucky is the man whose leisure activities brings him what he has.

15) That symbols take us out of the literal and into the magical, mystical reality of God. All religions are true symbolically but become problematic when we interpret them literally, or worse like scientific documents.

16) That while man’s greatest yearning is divine experience, God’s greatest kick is having a human experience through people. Our lives are God’s ‘out-of-spirit’ experiences.

I have a 17th rule that is equally important to accept and understand and it is this:

17) That there are days when I am stupid, dense, unconscious, and not attentive and so none of the above can seem true for me.

Hmmm.. I think I’ll include these thoughts in the book.

28 to “This I know to be true.”

  1. ~C4Chaos says:

    “Enlightenment is not exchanging earth for heaven but seeing heaven on earth.” this i believe to be true, but don’t “know” yet. thanks for sharing your insights. godspeed.

  2. girlie says:

    i would like to read more of your 17 truths as chapters in a book.
    take care & keep the words coming!

  3. PinkFly says:

    …your words always enlightens me on a gloomy day.
    keep posting interesting entries sir jim. 😉

  4. N says:

    hello mr. jim! :)

    “17) That there are days when I am stupid, dense, unconscious, and not attentive and so none of the above can seem true for me.”

    ouch. lol. :) i am one of the firm believers that in order to happy now, one should live in the moment. but since i am only human, number 17 happens to me alot. any remedies for number 17??

  5. balikbayan_box says:

    if these are appetizers of the new book your woking on, WOW! i cant wait for the main menu.

    magandang araw po neybor!

  6. maun says:

    @ the book; “we’re looking forward to that’.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your own spiritual meanderings and truths and the Buddha’s tips on acceptance of teaching, esp this:

    Rely on your wisdom and insight, NOT just on your ordinary, judgmental mind.

    Yes, you may call me dense and thinking within the box as here are my own thinking:

    First, according to Thomas Moore on Mother Theresa’s book along this line: what’s the use of over analyzing spirituality when little is being done to the profundity of pathos?

    Second: Is everything really perfect as it is? Mosquitoes bring malaria and so on. The world is hardly perfect.

    On this I agree, enlightened or not:
    “God’s greatest kick is having a human experience through people. Our lives are God’s ‘out-of-spirit’ experiences!”

    My entry only proves to you that indeed ‘truth’ takes time to mature!

  8. marem pavia says:

    Thanks for sharing your insights…reading your blog is always a spiritually enlightening experience for me!

    Love you Tito. =)

  9. Anonymous says:

    wow, another book in the works! can’t wait.:)

    and #17 is something i believe all of us go through. and the rest, they’re so down right true and enlightening.

    God bless.

    jey
    http://spoonfuls.blogdrive.com

  10. Jim says:

    Coolmel–salamat You probably know it already. You just have to wake up to it.

    Girlie–you just gave me an idea for a future book. thanks

    pinkfly–glad to be helpful even if unintentionaly

    nette–to get out of 17, it helps to develop the practice of being conscious, and of seeing everything with fresh eyes, always coming from the present. Constant practice of mindfullness makes us more conscious and more in touch with what’s true for us.

    balikbayan, maun–salamat. I hope this book unfolds well.

    Anonymous–correct! Spirituality is not analyzed. It is a practice and therefore lived.

    Second, eveything is NOT ‘perfect as it is’ if we are coming from winning or losing, projection or ego. If we look at things JUST AS THEY ARE without any bottomline or ego gain or loss, how can it be imperfect. It is ‘just as it is”. Peace!

    Jey and Marem and everyone–salamat. May we all not spend too much of our lives in # 17!!! Ha ha!!!

  11. rach says:

    those truths are really true especially the last one.

    bkit kya andaming religion yet all of their teachings says the same thing and all have the same goal? i mean, oo, they differ in some points but the basic are all the same… now that i am here in a muslim country,they do not treat us as inferiors but as partners… wala lng.. sharing

    see you soon po, Sir Jim… hope to buy a book =)

  12. isay says:

    That if we could ask God what life’s meaning was, God would say, ‘it’s up to you.’

    my husband will be smiling if he gets to read them kase i always tell that to him! etc…

  13. ana says:

    i like this…

    6) That if we could ask God what life’s meaning was, God would say, ‘it’s up to you.’

    but i’ll still have to think about it…

  14. Anonymous says:

    What is ‘spiritual practice’in your definition?

    Dr. Scott Peck’s book, “Further Along the Roadless Traveled” will contradict most of your truths (esp. on the accounts of ‘being one with nature/universe’ and ‘oversimplifying life’ as he said that “Life is complex.”

    But, again he is an evangelist (bringer of good news) and you prefer to “walk” the spiritual ‘territory’.

    Peace!

    P.S. You must dislike (an understatement) crazy makers like me. hah-ha!

  15. Jim says:

    anonymous,

    No. 11 says exactly that—that life is complex. Scott Peck is, strangely enough, one of the masters I refered to.

    Don’t worry about being a crazymaker. I am too a lot of times. heh heh!

  16. Anonymous says:

    hah-ha! When in the world will I ever reach your point of enlightenment?

    For now, there’s no way around it when my life is surrounded by hard core scientists, aestheists and born-again agnostics! But, yes, reading/discerning Dr. Peck, Campbell, Mother Theresa and other ‘masters’ do help tremendously!

    Faites attention, la discernez et vivez votre meilleure vie !
    (Take care, discern and live your best life!)

    Yes, I was French in my previous life. hah-ha.

  17. Anonymous says:

    On item #11, Dr. Peck stated that he hopes that we won’t try to simplify life but accept that it just it — complex.

    Yours however states that to “understand life is to appreciate its immense complexities and to accept them as such is a step towards simplifying it”.

    There’s minutia of difference, am I right?

    Ang kulit ano?

  18. evi says:

    “That the pair of opposites are necessarily with us because they not only validate each other but are inextricably linked.”

    And also because if everything is right then what will be our life’s purpose? and why will man desire to be a better person?

    “That if we could ask God what life’s meaning was, God would say, ‘it’s up to you.’”

    Because no one else can mold your life except yourself. And in the process of shaping one’s life, there are choices to make and is never a “no choice”. God actually gave us the freedom to be what we want to be.

    Kudos to you. I find your entry very inspirational.

  19. aCey says:

    hi jim! new here. i’m glad i came across your blog. i have to say this is a great post. enlightening. :)

    ps: i miss apo. my dad and i, we love playing your old records. hehe.
    pps: can i add you to my list of bloggers?? :)

  20. girlie says:

    with pleasure, jim.

  21. Jim says:

    wordup– I am so priviledged to have had the parents I had. And what you’ve read is just half of the story. Someday, I’ll put up a post about my dad’s incrdible life.

    evi–thanks.

    Acey–sure you can. No need to ask.IF you are in the US, check our sched at the apo site. We’re on a tour again.

    Rach–APO will be in Muscat, Kuwait, Abu dhabi and Bahrain. Please check apohikingsociety.org foe sched. Saan ka ba?

    Isay–ha ha! You must be your husband’s “Goddess”.

    Ana– Yes! That’s the hard part, isn’t it?

  22. rach says:

    totoo po? this is so sad for me. I live in Dubai and I think no one can take me to Abu Dhabi… hindi naman po sia ganun kalayo pero malayo pa din like about 2-3 hours ride daw…

    Will you be coming to Dubai? *sniff* *sniff*

  23. isay says:

    good day jim!
    just a while ago, my husband and myself were laughing together about that phrase. mahilig kasi kaming mag joke sa isa’t isa. and for me it’s kind of lambing na may kasamang truth. like for example-when i think we are becoming impulsive with our decisions. First of all, we pray for wisdowm and then tell him, that we should always think twice or more….it helps kaya when i say to him it’s up to you, it is just a reminder for us….nice word to hear Jim! ang sarap pakinggan wow “Goddess”

  24. Anonymous says:

    Call it synchronicity for Oprah issued her 5th Anniversary supplement to O magazine this week with her list of truths or what she refers to as, “What I know for Sure.”

    I however found more depth and breath in your list of truths. Your truths are generally ‘transcendental’ based on your numerous readings and discernments, I am sure.

    Here are some of Oprah’s profound pragmatic tid-bits that resonated with me also:

    “Your life is a journey of learning to love yourself first and then extending that love to others in every encounter.”

    “Our beliefs can move us forward in life — or they can hold us back.”

    “It’s up to each of us to get very still and says, “This is who I am.’ No one else defines my life. Only you do.”

    “If you don’t know what passion is, realize that one reason of your existence on earth is to find it.”

    “The truth is that which feels right and good and loving. Love doesn’t hurt! It feels really good.”

    “Listen. Pay attention. Treasure every moment. Make the Connection.”

    Godspeed
    Liz

  25. ralph says:

    im looking for a tagboard where i could leave a comment but there’s none.. u seem to have a passion in writing, which we have something in common.. and your thoUghts and iDeas were somewHat an eye-opener.. your insights are wOrth reading.. im a fan of your groUp.. good thing i discovered something about u.. writing.. thnx! droP by at my site sometime..

  26. Jim says:

    Hi Liz, thanks for dropping by and sharing the Oprah stufff. Am a fan of hers too.

    Rach, sorry. Talagang walang Dubai. Do catch us in bahrain nalang or Abu Dhabi.

    Wordup, One of these days, I promise to write about my father.

    Ralph, salamat sa bisita

  27. Swipe says:

    hi Jim,

    Great rules. May I know the permalink to this particular post. I’d like to refer to it in my blog one of these days.

  28. Jim says:

    hey swipe,

    sorry I took so long in asnwering. I don’t have permalink. I am so low tech I don’t know how to put it on the page. Ha ha! Feel free to copy it nalang.

    Jim



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