The Hummingbirds of Summer, challenging The Sacred Cows of Belief, and learning to escape Temptation

Greetings again, friends! Are you getting out and enjoying the summer? As my musical mentor, Tommy Bolin, put it, “Summer flies by on impatient wings.” Ain’t it the truth; I find myself suddenly realizing, ‘Hey, September is almost here and that means Fall and then…’

Thus, let us wait for nothing and instead, fill our cups with what is there before us today

This summer, we’ve been entertaining guests at the Quibner ranch and, thanks to the mild weather, it’s been super-calm and peaceful and we’ve enjoyed no heat-induced irritations or blowups. Our steady stream of visitors have now come to an end, though some of my favorite visitors are still here and giving me daily pleasure: the Hummingbirds of Summer.

Yes, every summer we’re invaded by families of bright-green hummingbirds, with the occasional red and even rarer all-blacks showing now and then. Here in the North State, and especially out in the foothills to about 2000 feet, they come in flocks to our feeders and can drain a 3 cup feeder in one thirsty morning!

This morning, the 3 Sisters have been coming and going as I sit with my notes. These 3 ‘beja flors‘ are the most possessive animals I have seen, giving no peace to each other: one’ll come in for a drink when the other two come loudly racing in to drive it away, then the act is repeated by one of its sisters, birds whizzing in and out of my yard, making a screeching racket as they fight for position at the trough. Sometimes one will hover near me, maybe a foot away and right in front of my face, yakking it up about some subject I have difficulty translating effectively.

I politely reply and continue my day as my friends refresh themselves at our feeder…

Hey, thanks for the lovely emails this week, guys, really heart-warming and supportive. Got several in the same vein; here’s one from Jeremy L:

“…and I go away each week from your blog at first pissed off that here’s this guy who thinks he’s always right, then when I think about what you said, Milton, damn, dude, you are right!!! Kind of takes some time to sink in sometimes…”

That’s a lovely expression, Jeremy, and I appreciate it, maybe more than you realize, in that, yeah, I know I’m “right” in the sense that my thoughts are not simple impulses or reactions but contain real depth, but I also know that most people just won’t “get” what and where I am at and will react like you did, outraged and offended that I may have pricked a Sacred Cow or cherished belief…until a little reflection comes in and you realize, ‘Wait, that actually makes sense, now that I think about it’.

Arnie D figured this out and let me know it, too:

“…but it was that blog you wrote that talked about Knowledge that really hit me. I had been thinking that is was about how Much knowledge you accumulate, like its a contest to see who could collect the most facts, that’s how it goes at parties right? Everyone is always just shouting facts back and forth and then nobody knows what to say about them, you know? Its like a wall you hit when you run out of facts, then what, right? But you said it, its about like Knowledge leading to understanding, which you said is like a “ah ha!!!” feeling and I totally agree, you just feel it when you understand something, right?”

Right, Arnie. Facts by themselves are meaningless; scattered pieces laying about without connection, but Understanding comes along and ties them all together with a feeling, and you remember the essence of that feeling if you truly understand.

Now, Facts are not Truth, either, and this is a major mind-fuck confusing damn near everybody. It’s funny, people scream, “I want the facts, I want the truth,” as if they are synonymous, but Truth is something which lies beyond the physical Facts, which are simply pieces of information, for Truth is a meta-physical concept, something that does not exist here in the physical world.

Let that sink in a moment. Truth, by its very definition, is a concept and only exists in the realm of Ideas, and this realm is meta or beyond the physical, so friends, you can never experience or especially ‘get to’ the Truth, you can only get a glimpse of it,a  fleeting feeling and the only way one can do so…is by understanding that Truth, in truth, is no ‘thing’ or some noun but a verb, for Truth-ing is what we actually do, we ‘uncover the source’, which is the Classical definition of Truth and the older understanding, when we look for Truth.

Indeed, like Perceval searching for the Holy Grail, ‘truth-seekers’ are in the act of, which is a process, not a destination.

Confused? Good…

One last email, from Lynn S:

“I was so struck when I heard you on that show when you said the word ‘temptation’. It was like, for me, “wait a minute, I gotta listen to this” and I pulled off the road and sat the whole time in awe. You are right, I just think like things come to me and I react to them intelligently but you said no, it’s our reaction, its us being tempted emotionally to react like we always have or in the easier way or whatever you said but you are soooo right, it makes such sense!!”

Thanks, Lynn, glad I could open a window for you, but let me step through it further. Temptation is an old word, not much in use these days as, like you said, we so often look to outside sources, external stimulii to explain what takes place, but as you are discovering, it’s all about you choosing to Be Tempted and then following it out, or not.

Lynn, this is such a huge -and mis-understood or even ignored- principle that books should be written about it and…wait, scratch that, they HAVE been written and they’re called ‘The Classics’! Yeah, we’ve become conditioned to believe that we have no control over our temptations, those things, feelings and thoughts which compel us to feel, think and act differently or in ways we intuitively know we shouldn’t. “Man, I know I shouldn’t steal money from my mom’s purse, but I can’t help it, I need the money!” or, “Yeah, I shouldn’t be jacking off again, I should be looking for a job but those Internet Porn Angels have such power over me…”

Uh, news flash: no they don’t, nothing has any power over you except your reactions, which are the only things you have any control over in this life. Yes, how you react is ALL you have, the rest lies beyond your control, yet we have lulled ourselves into believing that those powerful forces outside of us somehow come sweeping in and take us where we don’t want to go.

Balderdash! Set your life up so you can escape Temptations when they come, because Sister, they will come! Learn to become Virtuous, which means, being able to avoid temptations, ok? It doesn’t mean ‘being Good’ or ‘abstaining from good things’, it means being able to escape from doing what you know you shouldn’t! This is the goal, friends: become virtuous to the point that you have patterned your mental/reactionary habits to escape the things you shouldn’t be doing, thinking or feeling and can finally think clearly, rather than being pulled this way and that by every sensation and phenomenon that enters your sphere.

“But I need some help getting there, Milt!”

Oh? Then read my book! There’s your road-map to Personal Liberation!

…And in the meantime, get outside and enjoy this magical Summer, ’cause I surely am!

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