Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Neck of Red

I am the son of a West Texas cotton farmer. My father didn’t continue farming beyond my seventh birthday, but lasting impressions of the flat plains of deep west Texas decorated with endless rows of cotton and the simple wisdoms of the people remain with me. I am an urban person today, sitting in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth urban sprawl one night removed from my 55th birthday.

I am told I was delivered in the middle of a blinding sand storm in a tiny farm house in the summer of 1951 amid the absolute nightmare of a wind driven hell, sand pounding against the walls. I am immersed now in the disquieting task of having to think about how long it has been since that night.

I have a lasting memory of a cotton farming grandfather in overalls. And yes he truly had a red neck. He also had a red face, and when he removed his straw hat at the end of a day of plowing, his forehead was a brilliant white. The location of his hat had created a vivid demarcation of skin color across his face, a lower face of red brown color and a forehead of pale white. It didn’t seem to be an issue for anyone, only a stern sign post of a life spent working the fields in hot and unforgiving dusty tractor toil during a Texas summer.

My grandfather told me about the things he knew the most about. We would talk on his porch, the endless rows of cotton stretching out in front of us for what appeared to be an eternity in my small imagination. He told me the earth gives back what is given to it. He would tell me how important the seeds were, and that the quality of the seed and their proper planting were vital to the yield. He would spit tobacco at a nearby can, sometimes with aiming success but just as often not, and then pick up cotton seeds and show me how to distinguish the strong from the weak. In his mind I was destined to be a two-tone faced cotton farmer as well.

Its deep night in Texas in 2006 and I sit here paralleling that long ago conversation with a personal spiritual conviction. If we imagine that our mind is like the soil and every thought we hold and every direction and result we imagine for ourselves is the seed, then it may appear to us to be a remarkable parallel to my grandfather’s lessons. The mind you see has no more choice than the west Texas soil than to return to us what we ask it to germinate. This is spiritual law for me. Just as the soil receives seed and begins to work upon the germination of the physical manifestation inherent in the seed, so mind responds in the same fashion. It has no choice as it is only on rent to our soul and labors as it is instructed, never asking questions in attempts to sort out our ‘soul thinking’ for us. It does as it is told. And so it is our soul that must give instruction to the mind.

The quality of the seed is what matters. We can plant negativity and yes, negativity will be our crop. The converse reality is self-apparent.

If our life condition is not controlled by our thoughts, the natural question that follows is what then is in control? Some will immediately argue that our condition is controlled by circumstance only. However is it not logical to believe that circumstances are an effect? I think so. Every thing we see and experience is an effect, including what we refer to as circumstances. If this premise is accepted we can conclude that all circumstance has a cause. This is the easiest way I have of explaining what I believe. All things we see and experience have a cause generated by mind and no circumstance can hold causal power. I believe all cause springs from the fertile ground of mind, and what we believe we bring to pass as effect. This also intellectually dismisses concepts of evil and the existence of the anti-God figure we refer to as satan. The guilt inducing evangelist will spoil for a fight with me on this one since dismissing the presence of satan simultaneously dismisses their convenient tool of assigning guilt to those they wish to hold control and power over. They will forever lose this argument with my logical mind. We can choose evil to plant or we can choose the good. This is the challenge granted by the Creator in giving us free will. We are one with the mind of God. We can choose the opposite, but it is our own choosing and not the work of a satan. If it were so, every evil could be gently dismissed and every law and rule ever written cast aside. Why do we choose not to do this? It is because we all inherently understand the power of choice. And yet we simultaneously grant harbor to thoughts of an existent satanic force. This confusion can be easily jettisoned by understanding no satan exists, it is only our free will running in an opposite direction of the power of good.

Does this mean that a bad effect that has befallen you was consciously thought out? Perhaps, but it’s likely not the actual case. It is possible that the negative thoughts have slipped past the filter and the mind has operated on the wayward negative seed planted. Mind has no power of discernment. It only operates as it is told. The soul discerns, not the mind. If this were not true, when we die the brain would ascend rather than the soul. A forensic tech can assure you that dead bodies retain their brain, it is merely a processing tool no longer needed.

This is a large and daunting challenge in my life. Yet, having seen the effect of my causal positive thinking I trudge on with the work. I guess this is akin to plowing fields all day and the echo of my grandfather’s words that a “farmer’s work is never complete.”


I will be gone for a week. I’m racing in a track meet against the best in the world. I am pleased to the point of pride to believe that my work ethic allows me the right to say I belong beside them. I need now to go plant seeds of success; my version of a 55th birthday present.

Stay well and safe while I am gone. God’s Peace and positive seeds to each one of you.


Ilias- said...

I wonder if you've seen the move "The Secret". It's about what you are discussing here. It can be seen at this address:

I like the image in my head of you and Grandfather looking at seeds near the tobacco pot. Good luck at your meet and happy birthday.

fatty ~ said...

happy birthday! many good seeds are planted, though sometimes it seems like they're squeezed out by the bad. But hope, it's pretty hardy.
Have fun at the track meet and best of luck!

Angie said...

As you know I like to think about these things before I comment so I will read this post again and save that comment for later. But, before you leave on your trip I wanted to say Happy Birthday! Please ask BEG to give you a birthday hug from all your blogger buddies. Second...because it has become tradition.... Run, Forrest, Run!
Good luck dear friend!

Silent One said...

Good Luck at your track meet...

and a very Happy Birthday to you!

Enjoy your week!!!

Lynilu said...

Happy Birthday, seven. May this be the first in a wonderfully long line of such thoughtful birthdays for you. Dare I say, "Live long and prosper?" Sorry!

I'm touched with the images you've created in this post, as they bring back memories of my dad with the same tan line, coming in from the wheat fields in the Panhandle of Oklahoma. I find a peaceful comfort in your words, as they align with my own spiritual position. Planting good/positive seeds is something I see as an essential to having a life reflecting my crop without embarrassment. I believe that even when I try to plant the best of the best seeds, occasionally I fail to cull out some of the negative; my spiritual strength is what helps me to weed the garden (I say garden here, because one doesn't normally "weed" a field crop as one would a garden). Being human, it is easy for me to blame my weed patch on external sources. But I know in my center that it is my task to not only select what is planted, but to acknowledge oversight and take action to remove the errant property, replacing it with a healthy seed.

I am responsible for my crop. I'm reasonably happy with what I see there now, and I'm working on the rest of it.

Now, go away and run like the wind. May Mercury slip into your body and carry you as fast as you need to be.

Seven said...

That is a marvelously articulated and beautiful comment. I hear your passion, your wisdom and your love for another.It brought a small tear as I read along becuase I was identifying and hearing a kindred spirit.. ...God Bless You and I wish all the same for you. That is if you desire to run like Mercury. If not, I wish you all that you do desire.

Seven said...

i haven't seen it and the link I think is truncated? Maybe try to send it again? Much of my thinking and beliefs have been colored by the work of Ernest Holmes married to a life of religious teaching. Thanks for reading so patiently.

Much love. Hold down the fort in Atlanta. Try to keep them under some litle bit of control.

Silent One,
Ever sweet. Opie is blessed.

Seven said...

I love this phrase "But hope, it's pretty hardy." Consider it officially on loan to me. Have a wonderful week 'down under'.

Rick said...

I'm going to have to re-read your post myself, but my Dad popped immediately to mind. He's still out there in the Iowa dirt, at age 76, snow-white crown under his seed-corn cap, the rest of his exposed skin burnished red, planting nothing but good seeds.

Seven said...

I hear you. That image seems to resonate with a couple of you. Bless your dad and the middle-aged seed planted in our blog world.

Grant said...

I think the stuff actually smokes better if you remove the seeds first, which is where I'm pretty sure you were going with all that "God's Peace" crapola.

But Hippy Bertday either way. Don't blow a hammy. If you do, be prepared to commit sepuku on the racetrack to retain honor for the rest of the team.

Seven said...

No problem, I will claim death in lieu of dishonor. I assume 'sepuku' is death? Hmm, maybe its just vomiting...??
Yo, Seven, somebody gotta claen that up dude!!...hehe

Lynilu said...

seven, thank you for the beautiful response. I actually returned here to say that my daughter called me recently to tell me of a wonderful spiritual experience she had recently. I can't retell all she said, but she said she had ordered and was sending me something that she feels sure will speak to my spiritual self. It arrived in today's mail and it is "The Secret," referred to above by stevepanella. I've not watched it yet, but will before the day is over. I feel sure his recommendation is worth checking. I'll advise you when you return.

Again, dear seven, best of luck. Adios.

Jenn said...

Happy Birthday! This is a spectacular post. Every now and then I find myself considering how a simple seed turns to something bigger and better...and I am always amazed. I like how you applied this to the mind.

Seven said...

Thanks Jenn,
Warm thoughts and hugs to you both.

Ilias- said...

sorry seven, I don't know what happened to the link. It worked for me about three weeks ago. Anyway, I think the movie is out and about.. it is worth a look. :^)

patti_cake said...

Go get em' Rick! Can't wait to hear you post how it goes when you get back.

Lynilu said...

seven, here is the website for the information on the DVD or view on computer version of "The Secret."

After watching it, I really do recommend it. It is excellent. My daughter has effected a powerful change in her life in just 3 weeks.

Looking forward to hearing about your meet.

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