No Form Communication

 

First, a brief excerpt from my soon to be published book, “Dianna’s Way”:

 The spectrum of knowledge a dog has is not congruent with our own, so we deem them less intelligent. Fundamentally, I absolutely know this is not true. Truth is, we have barely a clue about what they know.

I do know, while Dianna lived in the Present almost all of the time, and I am an occasional visitor, it was Chili’s default way of being in every moment. This creates a wisdom we simply do not understand, do not even realize we do not understand, and certainly have no way to language. It is wisdom living in the language of the unspeakable.

All of us who love dogs and live with them learn to communicate with them in our own ways.

What I have learned is that, of course, they figure out what a few of our words mean – certainly the commands words we use in training, and words that alert them to activities they particularly love to do (“want to go outside?”, “go for a ride”, “want to go for a walk?”) and probably a few more. For them, just sounds (all words really are anyway) they learn to associate the corresponding activity, which is all I think it is.

But, in order of most impact, I think a dog responds most strongly to touch, followed by hand movements, followed by the sounds we make (our words) in that order.

These are all what I will call form oriented communication – they rely on the usual senses all animals, including humans, depend on for input data.

However, I have come to believe the most important communication between humans and dogs – at least I will say, between me and my own dog – is what I can only call no form communication.

I have learned over the years – and became particularly sensitive to it during the intense grieving period I went through after my wife, Dianna, died – my dog knows exactly how I feel and responds to those feelings accordingly (some practical examples show up in the book) – and communicates back to me with feelings of his own.

While he is very finely tuned to my feelings, I admit, I am not as adept at sensing his – so, he is keenly conscious at levels I am only weakly conscious.

Of course, it is no news flash human to human interaction contains tons of no form communication happening all the time but most of us generally do not bring this level of communication to consciousness – though we certainly react to it anyway (we may not notice it at all – or call it a “gut feeling” if we do)

This suggests if I am willing to become more conscious, there is an opportunity to communicate with Spirit (my new dog) at a level he understands only too well. Herein lays the possibility of an extraordinary relationship between us – with him the teacher and me the student. Maybe if I can turn down my brain chatter a little and open my heart and body, I might learn something.

And, is there even more beyond this? Is there the possibility of a soul level communication too? I don’t know.

We will see what Spirit has to say about it.  :)

As I am heading down the home stretch toward picking up my new Golden Retriever puppy, ran into a snag with the very reputable breeder I am buying him from.

We had originally agreed on my having first choice of males from the litter. Then, through a series of unexpected events not worth going into, I was suddenly “demoted” to seventh pick out of eight males.

At first, I was dumbstruck. This felt so unfair and unexpected although, to be honest, I had been feeling apprehension about it all for weeks without knowing why.  So, my gut was working just fine. As usual, it was my brain that was not listening.

After hearing this news, for two nights in a row I had some really nasty dreams involving dogs (dogs being hit by cars, dog fights, dogs trying to kill each other). In dreams, “dogs” in general usually have to do with male behavior, masculinity and, in this case, anger, aggression. Usually my dreams are pretty nice – Buddha dreams I like to call them-  and I have learned a ton from analyzing them over the years.

By the way, dreams are very important and remembering them (best to write them down before getting out of bed) is even more helpful – but even if we don’t remember them, we are still being educated every night in our dreams. For those of you who think dreams are not part of a valid reality and/or unimportant, the “reality” you are living in while reading this in is no less a dream – our waking state being just another dream. [Read my soon to be published book, “Dianna’s Way” where the practical use of dreams are illustrated in daily life.]

Anyway, I woke up from these nasty dreams wondering what the heck is going on with me. Since I know most dreams are simply various projections of myself, I suddenly realized I was really angry about this puppy situation.

Fortunately, simply the act of acknowledging my anger rather than suppressing it cleared the way for me not writing the nasty email to the breeder I wanted to write. I cooled off.

The next thing that came up for me was surrender (again, this is also an integral part to the book afore mentioned).

So, I did.

Surrender, I have learned is not an act of will nor can it be a mental decision. It is an act of faith and hinges on having trust in the universe. It is either easy to do or impossible, depending on the state of grace one is in (i.e., connected to Spirit or not).

What I realized was Spirit, my new dog, was coming to me, whether it was my first choice in the litter or the last. So, I put the matter into the hands of the All That Is (my second favorite word for God) If God was not dog spelled backwards, it would be my first. All That Is is really the most accurate description of God because it is bereft of all the social and religious bullshit the word God carries with it, thanks to centuries of religious distortion.

As a fall out from this shift in point of view, I also realized all this breeder wants is the best possible home she can find for her dogs and her sense of responsibility and devotion for them is unquestionable – why I admire her so much and keep going back to her – this will be my third GR she has bred.

So, I emailed the breeder, asking her to do whatever seemed fair to her after reviewing our process together to date. If that was picking first or last, it was going to work for me in some way my ego does not understand.

She replied I could choose from five males and would that work for me?

Certainly.

Everything is still a go.

Summer not far from home

I am in the end phase of my life now where “the getting” – and even the “doing” of life is waning. More money or more stuff or even more love is all good but these concerns are no longer the focus of my days and nights. 

I have enough. Enough money, enough stuff and even enough love (though love is not a thing one “acquires”). When it comes to love, I do have plenty to give.

And, here comes Spirit!  Just in time!

As for love, we cannot “get” love. Perhaps we cannot “give” it either. Most concisely, I think Love is tightly related to “being”.That is, we can only be love ….. Love is an awareness, a space to be in.

This seems obtuse I suppose but, consider. To genuinely love another being (not “in love” with a projection of what we have decided they are), we must actually be present to them – that is, we “get” the way they are, not the way we wish they were.

Even deeper than this, the peak experience of love is to experience being one with another – the romantic version of this is being with one’s soul mate. But, truth is, a soul mate is simply someone who we find it easiest to be present to, to feel one with.

Of course, if we were fully awake, we would be one with everything – each person we meet, even those we don’t, the trees and stars and the blades of grass under our feet and ……

Well, it is easier to do with someone we feel strongly connected to  – the reason, I believe, this reality comes equipped with male female dualism, , sexual drives, children developed, then born right out of mother’s bodies – so amazing – and all of that.

Fun eh?

Also, has taken me a while to notice love is not a feeling either. Some days I feel love – and loved – and some days I don’t.  Some days I may feel love for someone but some days I don’t  – so, I try to make it up or act like I do feel it. What is this about?

Well, here we go again.

I believe It is about being in the Present (not thinking about past or future – or focused on thinking at all). If I am present to other, love simply, naturally shows up. Love fills the space, fills me up (unless they happen to be a sadistic serial killer – then, I would need the advanced course on being Jesus Christ or the Buddha). Sometimes we are present to another but, mostly we aren’t, so, unlike the romantic phase (when it is new), the bloom comes off the rose. Just the way it is until we, ourselves, are some other way – until we have developed our capacity for being present.

Dogs can help with this.

I have lived with dogs all my life. Everyone who has raves about their unconditional love, man’s best friend, all that (me too) and, it turns out, we have good reason to rave. It is no accident dog is god spelled backwards. In an important way, they can be our teachers.

They naturally know something we don’t.

Dogs know all about being present.

They may not know it intellectually and they certainly cannot write about it – or even talk about it – that is, they cannot language it in our language. So we think they don’t know.

But, they know …….. in the way they know such things.

We have trouble with this because we live mostly in our heads, which separates us from the present, where love lives as an experience. I talk about this in my book, Dianna’s Way (not due out till maybe June so no use looking for it yet)

Dogs are almost always being in the present moment (they can slip out of it too though – expressing fear, aggression, or anxiety, when they are reminded of past pain event or  maybe apprehensive about a feared future).

If we understood their language, we would know they know it. I do not know this because I understand their language – I might stumble into bits of it here and there – but, I know it intuitively ……….. which maybe is part of their language.

Hmmmmmmm.

Chili

The link below is an interesting entry into other dimensions of not so much our world but what we think is our world.

I have had some experiences like the ones discussed in the link …..I will mention only one …………. I was walking Chili (my now deceased dog) in a place where a flock of Canada geese hung out regularly. Each time we went there, same thing happened …….. we would walk toward them and by the time we were within maybe 50 yards of them, Chili would break into a full run, scattering them into the sky, barking their complaints in a cacophony of sound.

This day, I just felt differently. Gentler, maybe. My heart said to them (surely these were the very same geese we saw each day), please stay, it is OK, we will not hurt you, you are safe with us ……… that feeling …….. all in thought and nothing spoken out loud, as we walked toward them. When we had walked within about 20 yards of them (more slowly than usual  – walking fast is, by itself, threatening after all) I sat down in the grass and Chili nosed around a little (maybe considering his options) - usually he would have made a bee line for the geese long before this to scatter them to the winds, one of his simple joys in life. Then, without me saying anything to him, he simply, quietly, sat down beside me, watching the geese.

It is as if Chili, I and the geese were in a shared conversation of sorts.

There were about 40 geese in all and they all kept looking at us, milling around nervously and, after about 3-4 minutes, three of them finally could not stand the ambiguity of it all and flew off. A move like this would, more often than not, stir the rest to follow suit. But, they did not. After several more minutes, most went back to pecking away in the grass while a few kept eyeing us. Interestingly, there was a continual string of singular barks scattered between them, here and there, like they were discussing this unusual situation.

After maybe 20 minutes or so, without a word, I stood up, turned and walked away with Chili coming along with me. The geese finally fell completely silent and went back to their business as we got far enough away to break the spell.

I think we could have more peace than we have in this world if we were open to it.

If we believed it was possible.

Anyway, end of this story.

http://galeglassner.com/2012/03/the-butterfly-story/

Gradually, I am discovering what this blog is about ….

I am exploring what brings meaning to life – my life anyway – by writing about it – and, by publishing it, inviting others to travel along on this journey either as an observer or as a participant by commenting.

So, today, I will begin like this:

Passion points me toward meaning.

What I feel passionate about provides meaning to my life, my reasons for staying a bit longer in this reality.  Otherwise, why be here?

There are no “shoulds” where passion lives. Obligations, duties, what others want or expect, the maintenance doing of life, while all important, do not live here either.

Passion is whatever excites me, move me to action, makes me want to get up in the morning. These days, I feel more passionate than ever. Meaning I am more excited by life than ever.

Right now, my passions are:

  • The book I just finished about my deceased wife, Dianna, called Dianna’s Way (currently in editing, to be published in early summer) – I want as many people who may gain value from reading her story to know it exists – so my next job is to publicize it as well as I can.
  • This new dog I am adding to my life. Already named, Spiritdog will be born in early May and we will join up near the end of June.
  • And, this blog, a novel (for me) way to investigate the meaning of life, and my life.

[The name for this blog came first, by the way. The naming of my dog, Spiritdog, came later – at least in my consciousness. :)  ] 

In my next post, I will continue along this theme. Enough for today.

3/16/12

Still hurts now and then, like a sudden hot summer breeze that whooshes through me, coming out of nowhere when I least expect it …..maybe a song, or catching a glimpse of her photo on my desk or just looking out the window at the lake and seeing Dianna in my mind’s eye, on her knees, extracting tiny weeds out of her flower garden and Chili nosing around nearby.

Both gone now.

It is a good hurt though.

The kind of hurt one has when what and who has been lost was magical and life altering. That is, a hurt with no regrets or malice – no wishing it never was – but, instead, feeling so grateful it was and that it was the way that it was.

They both taught me to live in a space of Gratitude and Appreciation ………….. and most of all, Love.

Life in this reality is composed of beginnings, middles and endings ….. so, life is about our stories …. and why we are so naturally and totally entranced by our stories, our own dramas. Nothing gets closer to our own truth than our own story ……… and yet nothing more effectively keeps us from seeing who we really are either.

OK though. Just part of The Game, the way it has been designed by the Designer ….. on Purpose, of course.

 Nothing to do but have fun with it.  :)

 

 

 

Dianna – will always miss you in body and always with you in spirit

I have just completed writing a book about my wife, Dianna and it is going through editing with my publisher. So, just as when Dianna died on February 20, 2008, I am facing another blank page now, wondering what to do with the rest of my life.

I decided to start this blog. An on line diary to keep me connected to one of my passions, writing. Who knows, it may lead to my next book. In any case, it will be fun.

Another passion I have is dogs. Since 1970, I have had nothing but Golden Retrievers and, while all dogs are good, this breed suits my temperament and have what I look for in a dog – if chosen well, they are great bird dogs - hunting has been another passion but waning a bit as I age – and GR’s rarely are interested in biting anyone, fighting with other dogs, love touching and, over the years, have taken good care of me, taking me for walks in places we both love to go and, most of all, continuing to teach me all I am open to learning.

An excerpt from my book, Dianna’s Way (to be available to the public hopefully by early summer), referring to my recently deceased GR, Chili:

The spectrum of knowledge a dog has is not congruent with our own so we deem them less intelligent. Fundamentally, I absolutely know this is not true. Truth is, we have barely a clue about what they know.

I do know, while Dianna lived in the Present almost all of the time and I am an occasional visitor, it was Chili’s default way of being in every moment. This creates a wisdom we simply do not understand, do not even realize we do not understand, and certainly have no way to language.

Well, I do not mean for this blog to be about dogs as such but about exploring the wisdom found along the blurry edges of our reality, about who we are, why we be here and what might be fun to do while we are here - here meaning in this particular reality, this game we call life.  And, from this perspective, we may use this blog to have a conversation about life as we live it and as we see it happening in the world, whether in society, politics, the environment – I might mention what I noticed walking in the woods today.

Soon, my next GR will be finding me. This morning, the thought occurred to me that I might be naming him Spirit.

Will see.

Chili - miss you still

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