The Call and the Answer

The Call and the Answer


Exploring deeper truths for real change. Learning to hear the answer life is giving to our calls, seeing what we are really asking for.

The Union Path Podcast - The Call and the Answer

In order to create real and lasting change in our life, in order to experience real deep clarity, coming into contact with elemental forces is really important.

It's really important to get underneath the circumstantial and transactional aspects of life, and look a little deeper. Come into contact with not only truth, but deeper truths. To really get underneath why are things the way they are? Why have things been the way they've been? Why are things likely to continue being the same?

On, this journey of self-awareness, on this journey of knowledge, on this journey of truth, there's always ever more truth we can encounter. There's always ever more depth we can experience. There's always more. And it's this more that beckons us on. That leads us to keep going, keep trying. Know that in life, nothing is ever fully complete. There's always something that needs to be done. There's always something that's going to happen.

It's this perpetual journey, this perpetual learning, this perpetual growing, that really keeps us going. That gives us hope, that gives us something to strive for.

Because ultimately, if we believe we had all the answers, if we believed everything was already clear, if we believed there was nothing to do, then that in and of itself negates existence. If there's nothing to do, if there's no reason for being, if our life is simply experiential from a thought and sensory perspective,

that in and of itself creates a latent sense of meaninglessness. That in and of itself, ultimately, doesn't point towards hope, really points more towards stagnation. It really points more towards a stunted state, of where our own overconfidence, our own hubris, our own delusions, lead us to think there's nothing really to do here.

And oftentimes when we think there's nothing really meaningful or really important to do, that a lot of things we spend our time on, a lot of the ways we fill our life, are ultimately pretty unnourishing.

That when there was not a sense of meaning, a sense of calling, a sense of union that we're trying to achieve with something bigger than ourselves,

then ultimately our lives end up being pretty small. Our lives end up revolving around petty grievances, the seeking of sensual pleasure, the feeding of the smaller, more superficial parts of ourselves. Whether that be through ego, whether that be through base desires like pride and gluttony and greed, and all sorts of things that we all know not only really aren't very healthy, but also really don't lead anywhere.

It's really easy to get lost in life, when if we're really honest with ourselves, the things we're seeking don't really mean that much to us. When the things we're achieving don't really leave any lasting positive effect on us.

That the thing about going through life simply from a purely pleasure-driven perspective, is that ultimately, once that pleasure is achieved, we need more. Because any sensory pleasure, any gain found through our own self-indulgence, our own self-centeredness, anything that ultimately is just for our own pleasure and isn't shared in any way, rings hollow, rings empty, isn't ultimately satisfying.

And I think one of the beautiful things about progressing through life, is that at a certain point, often around mid age or so, this starts to become more and more obvious. More and more obvious that the things we're seeking might not be the things that we've learned to seek. May not be the things we found ourselves successful in seeking and attaining.

There's something more. There's something underneath the physical. There's something underneath the sensory. There are delights and a fulfillment that awaits us, if we're willing to look for more. If we're willing to keep going. If we're willing to really engage with life and ourselves, on the deepest level we possibly can.

And once we start to look past the superficial, past the temporary, past the ephemeral pleasures of a sensory or egocentric, self-centered life, we can start to discover this more, we can start to discover this greater, that life has in store for all of us.

That we have to be willing to look, we have to have a reason, we have to have the superficial fail us. We have to have our self-centeredness let us down. We have to let our self-satisfying behaviors betray us in some way, to look for something more.

We have to look at the subtle, yet persistent disappointment, that living a life based on the pursuit of things that don't in the end really mean that much to us, having run its course.

We have to experience that empty feeling. We have to experience that burnout. We have to experience that sense of gripping and holding on, to things that don't really serve us, that we may not even really want, to actually endeavor to look for more. To eventually discover, not only that there is more, but seemingly there's infinitely more.

No matter how deep we are, we can always go deeper. No matter what truths we encounter, there are always deeper truths. There's always a reason to keep going. There's always more in store for us.

Growth is always possible. Evolution is always possible. True expression of who and what we really are is always possible, but we're the ones that have to look. We're the ones that have to start it. Everything begins with us.

When we look at our life experience, especially over a long timeframe, I believe it becomes pretty undeniable, that the forces of energy and intent lie underneath everything. These forces not only seem to support everything, but seem to be the main propelling force through life, as well as the main force that propels things towards us. Life is a two-way system. Life reflects back to us, our intent and energy.

But it's only with deep self-awareness, it's only through cracking through these more superficial layers, that not only can we begin to actually see this, but we can actually start to understand it as well. That we can start to see these patterns, see how things go in our life, seeing how not only we are affected by what happens to us, but how what we do affects others as well.

We can start to see the symmetry. We can start to see this match in the form of a reflection. A reflection of intent and energy. A reflection of who we really are. A reflection of who we're really being in any given situation, and how the situation goes for us. What it's like. What we get out of it, what we don't get out of it. How we're gratified, how we're disappointed. How we're nourished, how we're starved.

And the way that I like to think about this is a concept of a call and an answer. That this is the dialogue of life. That in our more self-centered, self-focused, sometimes self-obsessed times, life can really feel like a monologue.

It's so easy to overestimate our own power, our own importance, our own specialness, and miss that life isn't just what we put into it. We're not a solo act, this is a duet. These are situations where we're playing off life and life is playing off us, to create something greater.

That's the additive effect of existence. That if we weren't really adding anything to existence, then on some level, what would the point of existence be?

On one hand, it's pretty obvious that the whole purpose of life is for us to learn and grow and expand, but again, that's reasonably self-centered as well. I think a more complete view is that the whole purpose of life is for us to expand existence and for existence to expand us.

It's both, it's a balance. everything in life is always a balance. Is always a balance seeking to maintain itself. But it's not only us injecting ourselves into life and willing our way to the kind of experiences, the kinds of existence that we want to have, but it's life contributing back to us as well.

When we become so focused on ourselves, so caring about our own experience, our own rewards, our own benefits, that we miss this dialogue. We miss the other half of the interaction that's going on.

I think that's one of the most beautiful things about deep self-awareness. It's almost a paradox, but the deeper we go within ourselves, the more of our true self we really discover, the more we discover unity with everything else as well. That going deep enough, we descend past the levels of the individual, and start to discover levels of the collective.

We break through our own individualized, selfish, self-centered needs and identity even, and we get access to a whole.

We start to learn that, whatever exists deep inside of us, whatever feels the most true, the most real, the most permanent, exists in everyone else as well.

We start to realize that these concepts of spiritual energy, of higher power, of source, of universe, of God, whatever we want to call it, isn't any particular one thing.

It's a part of everyone, it's a part of everything. That's why when we seek it on the outside, we can never find it. We can never find the perfectly representative, perfectly imbued person, place, or thing, because the higher power, the highest power, doesn't exist as an individual. It's in all of us.

That seems to be a pretty critical aspect of the game of life. Is to be dropped into this existence, thinking or looking for one specific thing, one specific source of clarity and wisdom, guidance, calm, peace, equanimity, joy, appreciation. And we seek, and we seek and we seek, try to find this hidden individual, this hidden source, this hidden piece that will unlock everything for us.

But as long as we're seeking on the outside, we'll never find it. Because it doesn't exist there. We already have a piece of it inside of us. And the more we connect with that piece inside of us, the more we inherently connect with that piece inside everyone else too, inside of everything else.

That's the mystery of existence. That's the paradox we need to pierce. That we come into this life as an individual, especially in American culture, are inculcated and raised to think ourselves as individuals. Think of our interactions, in a society perspective, largely individually based. Individual achievements are rewarded. Individuals are elevated and celebrated for their achievements, for their greatness, for their specialness.

But that's one of the things that makes life so interesting, makes this all such a compelling game, is that in some ways, this is a bit of a trick. This is a bit of an intentional deception, to lead us towards the truth. Lead us towards what we really want. Lead us towards who we really are.

That as long as we're seeking to be the greatest individual, we miss out on the participation and the contribution to the collective. We miss out on the contribution of that collective back to us.

We become isolated. We become fearful. We become alone. Our abilities to connect with this deep, original part of ourselves, become stunted, because we overdevelop these ideas of individuality. These ideas of our self being the individual person and body, and personality and thoughts and opinions, tastes and quirks and everything else that we're walking around with.

But this seems like a bit of a game. Seems like this is part of the great mystery. But how is it, that we can be born into these individual lives, yet at the apex of individual achievement, we don't really feel whole. We don't really feel complete. We need more. We strive for more. We're desperate for more.

And sometimes the more individual achievement we attain, the more desperate we get. The more desperate we get to not only attain more, but to protect the attainments that we've achieved.

Because as an individual, we're so incredibly vulnerable. We're so incredibly vulnerable to losing what we have. We're so incredibly vulnerable to the slights and the attacks of others. We've become so incredibly vulnerable because we've lost our oneness. We've fallen into the trap of other, into the trap of different, in the trap of unique.

And of course, all of us are unique expressions. But they're unique expressions of the same fundamental energy, the same fundamental being, the same fundamental thing. We're all unique prisms for the same fundamental light.

And as we go deeper and as we explore more, we realize we're not so much in the ways that we bend this light, we are the light.

We find our way home, we find our way to peace, we find our way to connection, we find our way to union by identifying with and expressing this more fundamental part of ourselves. By realizing that, our life experie nce is energy flowing back to us, based on the energy we were flowing with. We take the ride that we buy the ticket for. What we intend to create, tends to happen. Over long enough timescale, this feature becomes universal.

Life is always giving back to us what we put into it. Life is always answering the call that we're putting out. But really getting to knowing what this call is, really knowing what we're actually asking for, what we actually want, can be pretty tricky business.

We really have to get under all sorts of ideas about ourselves that may not actually be true. And we may have to really identify and confront and move beyond delusions about life, delusions about ourselves, delusions about others, that we've maintained and perpetuated, perhaps for most of our lives.

To really be able to see our life as a whole, we have to be able to see this unity. We have to be able to see that, what we're putting into life, life is answering. Life is fulfilling us, whether we like it or not.

And so when we look at our lives, we look at the course of our lives, when we look at what happens to us, especially trends over long periods of time, it's important to ponder this idea of the call and the answer. What sort of energy and intent are we going to life with, and how is life fulfilling that for us?

If we go into life with a spirit of service, how are we being served? If we go into life with a spirit of fear, how is life fulfilling and justifying that fear? When we go into life with a sense of self-centeredness, how is that self-centeredness being nurtured to grow even greater?

Life gives us what we ask for. But the hard part is, really figuring out what we're actually asking for. Really knowing, why we're doing what we're doing, really knowing what we're trying to get. Really being honest with our own intent.

That's a very difficult thing, this self honesty. Honesty itself is very difficult. Oftentimes, dealing with difficult honesty can feel like a real lose lose situation. Of where we'll not only create harm outside of ourselves, or to someone else or to something else, but we'll also feel much worse in the process.

But ultimately, to live a real life, to live a true life, we don't really have any choice. If we're really seeking the truth, we have to do so honestly. And the rub with honesty is there is no partial credit.

We can't get to where we would want to go, we can't be who we want to be, we can't know what we want to know, through partial truths. Partial intents lead to partial ends.

And so when we look at our life, when we look at how our life has been, and how things have been for us, and how we tend to affect the environment around us, and how the environment around us tends to affect us,

it really is important to get underneath. To get as deep as we possibly can. And ask ourselves, what is the call that's being answered? What is the request that's being fulfilled? What are we really asking for? What are we trying to get? This clarity, these answers, can be really difficult to attain.

Especially when something really negative happens to us, especially when we've been living out really negative trends, it can be really difficult to acknowledge that we have a part in it. It can really take a lot of time, a lot of soul searching, a lot of dark nights, be able to make sense of this.

And when we're going through these times, we also realize that racking our brains about it doesn't really seem that helpful either. Rumination doesn't really seem to be that helpful. This clarity, this wisdom seems to need to emerge on its own. But it doesn't mean that we don't have a part in it. It doesn't mean that we can't help it along.

Because then that leads us right back to this idea of the call and the answer. It's always happening. And when we're unclear what our call has been to get the answer from life that we've been getting, well then that's a new call. That's a new intent. And that's a different intent than just wanting things to change, wanting everything to be better.

That intent, to really want to know the truth, to really want to know why, is much greater than the intent just for things to change.

Because ultimately, I think we all know, that it's the intent, it's the why, that drives everything.

And so in order to really make sense of our own lives, we really have to make contact with these intents. Really have to be honest with what we are really trying to do, what we are really trying to create, what we are really trying to get. And we find, when our intents are really centered around parts of ourselves that don't really seem that wholesome,

they don't really seem that honorable, they don't really seem that kind and caring and centered and peaceful, then ultimately it sees awarenesses that allow us to grow, that allow us to change.

It's by looking at this dialogue of life, looking at this idea of our call and life's answer, that we can really break through to another level of understanding. Break through to another level of self-awareness.

No matter how developed our self-awareness is, we still have blind spots somewhere. No matter how much we know, there's always more to know. There's always more to understand. There's always new information available. There's always refinement available. And that's what keeps us going.

To be able to look through life through this lens of dialogue to this lens of call and answer, it's important to really get underneath, and really let the answer inform what our call has been. What are we really asking for?

Especially in negative times of our life, that might mean getting underneath our ego, gaining underneath our preferences, getting underneath our self-centeredness, and really figuring out what we really need. What that deep part of ourselves is really asking of us. What do we need to learn? How do we need to grow?

How is this experience encouraging us to be a better person, to be a fuller person, to be a more authentic person? In what ways can these answers lead us to the truth of what we've been calling for?

Do we need to have something that we've relied upon let us down? Do we need to experience some sense of loss to reorient ourselves in some way? Do we need to learn that fear, especially held over the long term, really isn't all that helpful?

Do we need to express ourselves more? Do we need to express ourselves differently? What adjustments in our life are needed to make our call be a better match for who and what we really are?

Because that's the thing about expression, that's a dialogue too. Because expression is more than just our individual contribution. It's also the feedback. It's what comes back to us that makes the whole experience.

Just like any kind of performer knows that their performance, their individual contribution is only part of what the overall performance is. The audience plays a critical role too. It's the contribution, from both sides, that makes it what it is. It's a co-creative process.

But that's the thing about creation in general it's always co-creative. It's always communal. The only individuality involved in creation is from a sense of unity, from a sense of oneness, of everyone. That everything that's created needs to be consumed somewhere else, and every bit of consumption, needs creation somewhere else.

Seems to me, through my experience, life works this way. There are always two sides to everything. And the beauty of life is found in the beautiful balance. Is found through our own authentic connected call, and then the authentic connected answer that comes to us.

Life isn't all our individual contribution, and life isn't all what happens to us. It's both. We are sometimes the performer, and we are sometimes the audience. We are sometimes the creator we are sometimes the consumer. We are feeding into life, and life is feeding into us.

It's all connected. It's all part of a whole, which seems to be the mystery a lot of us are trying to solve. Especially when we get too involved in our own individuality, what we're actually seeking is commonality. What we're actually seeking is individuality, as a part of a greater oneness, tethered to a greater whole. Expression of a commonality. Not an individual beacon of light, but a unique expression of a universal light.

And so ideas like call and answer, ideas like oneness and unity, can really be helpful in seeing the truth. Because through oneness we can see the whole. It's really easy to get deluded when we're simply looking at things from an individual perspective.

But again, that's part of the beauty of it. These delusions are meant to let us down, to lead us back to unity. That the mystery of life is coming in as an individual, and growing and evolving into a greater whole.

We have our own individual contribution, but our contribution is to life itself. And that greater wholeness contributes right back to us. And contributes right back to us, based on the intent and the energy that we put into it.

Life is always giving back to us a perfect reflection of who we're currently being.

And when we want change, when we want something different, that's where the beauty, that's where the power, of our own individuality really comes into play. Because we get to choose. We get to choose how and when and why we shine this light. We get to choose what we base our expression on, we get to choose our expectations. We have full agency over our expression.

But ultimately, to find what we're looking for, to really be who we want to be, to really experience what we we need to come back home. We need to regain that sense of commonality, of union, of oneness with something else, and then find our individual expression from that place.

What I think makes a lot of us really starved throughout our life, is we try to satisfy and nourish this desire for oneness through our own individual achievements. We try to overwhelm our hunger for unity, through our own individual attainment.

But ultimately this can never be done. We can never satisfy a hunger for one thing with a opposite. Especially when we're out of balance, just doing more of however we happen to be out of balance just brings us out of balance more.

But we're out of balance because we're not seeing the whole picture. We're not seeing our whole selves, we're not seeing our whole environment. We're seeing things often through a lens of individual gratification, and missing our part as a greater whole. And oftentimes we can see that missing part most clearly by what we're getting back. By the answer that we're getting.

Life is always telling us everything we need to know, but we have to have the awareness and the courage to listen. We have to have the trust and the faith to use this information. We have to have the wherewithal and the belief in order to change.

But that's always our choice, that's always our agency. We get to set our own intents, and we get to choose what energy we flow with. And we can always try. We can always try different things. If we try to do things one way and we haven't gotten the results that we've wanted, we can try something else. If we've lived a very individualistic life, we want to try living a bit more from a oneness and unity perspective, we can try that too.

But when we try, we have to be mindful of what are we really doing? What energy are we really going into this with? Are we trying to suppress our individuality just enough so we can get back to those individual gains again? Or are we really trying to be part of the whole?

Only we can answer that. Only we can ultimately know why we do anything. Only we can ultimately know what energy we put into anything. Only we can ultimately know what our intent is. And also only we can ultimately decide what we choose to align our intent and our energy with.

Are we trying to really be whole? Are we trying to really be what we really are, deep on the inside? Or are we just trying to do whatever we can to get what we want?

Again, only we can answer, but this is how the truth ultimately liberates us. Because if we can really be honest with what we've done, really be honest with the intent and the energy that we've been doing what we've been doing, really look truth square in the face, we'll get the truth back.

If our call is for truth, the answer will be for the truth as well. But we have to be willing to see it. We have to be willing to hear it. We have to be willing to take it. We have to be willing to integrate it and do something different. But the choice is always ours.

We get to choose our call, and then life answers accordingly. We may not always be able to choose what we do, but we can definitely choose how we do it. We may not always be able to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose what we do with that information, with whatever new intent we set. We can always choose to embrace some energies and eschew others.

The choice is always up to us. And when we find ourselves not getting the answers we want, then maybe it's time to change the call. Maybe it's time to look really deeply on what we've really been asking for, what we've really been trying to get, and ask for something different.

Align with a different part of ourselves, a deeper part of ourselves. And thus align and be a part of a different aspect of existence. Get something different back because we ourselves are being different. Using our intent and energy on purpose. Being aware of how we're going into situations. Knowing that a balance will always exist. The answer will always match the call.

And so what do we really want? What do we really want to be? Who do we really want to be? Who are we, really, and how fully are we expressing that? While looking at the answers, life is giving us, leading us to the calls that we're putting out, can really illuminate and inform these questions.

And because life is a dialogue, we can use both sides equally. We can really look inside ourselves, use our own self-awareness, our own observation, our own seeking the truth, to really figure out what calls we've been putting out there and making changes, if we think we need to. We can use the same awareness to look at the answers life has been giving us, through the same lenses, to figure out what kind of change seems to be called for. But ultimately we can use both. And it's our awareness that allows us to do so.

We can always create the life we want, we can always evolve into a life that feels more true, more real, more full, more ours, by harnessing the ability to make whatever call of life that we want. And when we do, when we're truly connected, truly whole, truly expressing ourselves from this part of us that is within everyone else, then it's that part that will answer. The answer will come through on the same level as the call.

And so when we find ourselves getting answers that aren't in the level that we want to really be on, well then the onus is on us to call from a deeper place, a more real place, a more whole place.

And when we find ourselves making calls from this part of ourselves this part of our real selves, then that same aspect of real life will answer.

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