A MEMOIR BY RON IRVINE

This memoir is the JOURNEY OF MY HEART AND MIND

 

FROM dogmatism and certainty
TO inquiry and dialogue,

 

FROM a quest for “knowing”
TO embracing mystery and wonder,

 

FROM living with clenched fists
TO living with open hands.

 

MY JOURNEY

 

THROUGH the dark night of my soul

TO a deeper understanding;

 

FROM seeing with my eyes,

TO Seeing with my heart.

 

Click here for my memoir (written from 2006 to 2014).

BLOG OVERVIEW

 

This blog has taken shape into two parts, both of which are journaling the journey of my heart, the inner work that has ended up saving my life in many ways.

 

I write not because I know…

I write because I don’t know.

 

I write so that I will not forget.

I write so that I remember what I have learned along the way.

 

PART I: A MEMOIR BY RON IRVINE

can be found by following the link above and here. This has been organized into a Table of Contents that follows themes and the chronology of events that have shaped my heart, my depth, and my ways of Seeing.

 

PART II: BEYOND MY MEMOIR

is below on this page; an unorganized yet chronological collection of blog posts that reflect the continued inner work of unfolding meaning and purpose; a deep process of uncovering the stories of my life that hold true to the bone and continue to drive me forward.

 

“I asked myself, ‘What is the myth you are living?’ and found that I did not know. So… I took it upon myself to get to know my myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks… I simply had to know what unconscious or preconscious myth was forming me.” (Carl Jung)

 

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” (Rumi)

BEYOND MY MEMOIR

 

Below are continued

Musings and Mutterings

of a wondering wanderer,

of a wandering wonderer;

 

full of awe and gratitude,

mystery and wonder.

 

Living the questions

Watchfully waiting

in anticipation

without expectation

as life unfolds.

 

In the words of Bruce Cockburn:

Continually wondering

 

 

“If I loose my grip…

will I take flight?”

Doing FOR versus Doing WITH

March 24, 2019

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“To love someone does not mean first of all to do things for that person, it means helping her to discover her own beauty, uniqueness, the hidden light in her heart and the meaning of her life.”Jean Vanier Essential Writings, p.104 There is a huge difference between “doing FOR” someone and “doing WITH” a person. […]

Great Conversation

February 24, 2019

3

COFFEE AND CONVERSATION, MY FAVORITE THING “When is the last time you had a great conversation? A conversation which wasn’t just two intersecting monologues, which is what passes for conversation in this culture. When have you had a great conversation in which: you overheard yourself saying things you never knew you knew; you heard yourself […]

Being Open to Ourselves

February 24, 2019

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A reminder to myself… We tend to beat ourselves up over our imperfections because we are culturally conditioned to do so. The nature of conditioning is that often we do not even know we are doing it. Conditioning sustains itself through its own invisibility. We are human and we cannot change who we are. We […]

Blind Spot

February 5, 2019

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Everyday, I must ask myself, demand of myself: What is my Source? ”The best in art and life comes from a center – something urgent and powerful, an idea or emotion that insists on its being. From that insistence, a shape emerges and creates its structure out of passion. If you begin with a structure, […]

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers that are Checking MY Facts

October 18, 2018

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Am I my own Crap Detector? Or am I spreading the Virus of the Mind? What is true? What is real? How can I know? How can I learn to discern what I hear so I can know what to believe. It is you and me that must develop our own internal mechanisms for sorting […]

Reality versus Reaction

August 23, 2018

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What is real? (not my responsibility) What is my response? (totally my responsibility) I am fully accountable for my response to reality; my perspectives, beliefs, and actions. I am not accountable for reality. Reality just is.   REALITY: Complexity Life is defined by complexity. How do I respond? REACTION: Perplexity, confusion, frrustration? … OR Wonderment […]

What is This Drive to Convince? … to be right???

August 21, 2018

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    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before […]

On Being and Being Open

July 10, 2018

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Written over 20 years ago, this is becoming more and more relevant: TWO THINGS: BEING, AND BEING OPEN. Two Essential Elements in Human Life “What meaning can be found in life in the modern world? So many people today are searching, so many seem lost and no longer have any kind of ethical reference points; […]

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Love: Trivial or Transformational?

June 26, 2018

5

I deeply resonate with this. Is love the answer? Can love save us? How??? If we never really see it or feel it transformatively? “The nuclear family is a recent invention and a death blow to love—an unprecedented demand on a couple to be everything to each other, the family a tiny echo chamber: history […]

Love is Spaciousness

May 3, 2018

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Love is not Affinity (that’s conditional) REV. WILLIAMS: Love was not to be limited to my bedroom or my family and just people that I thought that I liked; that what I was doing in the past and what we often do and what our culture calls us to do is to use love to […]

Our Greatest Teachers

May 2, 2018

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“Our teachers — as much as we love our embodied teachers that come in flesh and bone and sit on cushions — are really the people, the situations that we confront moment to moment, day to day, month to month, year to year, that incite a sense of discomfort, dis-ease, awkwardness in us.  And rather that seeing […]

The Fierce Momentum of the Forces Battering Us

May 1, 2018

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World Weary “There is so much momentum to every aspect of what drives us, what moves us, what has us hurtling through space, including all of our thoughts and even our own sense of our emotions; how we interpret any given feeling, any experience of discomfort; where that discomfort sits in our bodies. It’s not […]

The Questions We Ask and those We Refuse to Ask

April 21, 2018

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“There are two things that determine (who we are and) who we will be: the questions we ask and the questions we refuse to ask.” (Sam Keen) What resonates so deeply with me is that 1) who I am is closely tied to the questions that matter to me, the questions that I have the […]

The Balance of our World vs the Equilibrium of the Heart

April 10, 2018

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“The balance of our world frequently is seen as a question of power. If I have more power and more knowledge, more capacity, then I can do more. And when we have power, we can very quickly push people down. I’m the one that knows and you don’t know, and I’m strong and I’m powerful, […]

die before you die

February 11, 2018

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Life is less about the living and more about the day by day quality and depth of our dying. For it is only when a seed lets go and is let go of, falls to the ground and dies, is buried and cracks open, It is then and only then, that transformation and birth of […]

How do we know that we know what we know?

January 23, 2018

1

In a world full of people saying with such gusto, “I’m right and therefore you are wrong,” how do we know what we know? Why do we know what we know? What does it matter? “Each of us creates a picture of our world by connecting a dozen or so of the trillions of dots […]

waiting as a spiritual discipline

August 24, 2017

2

“Why do you hurry? When you rush, you lose things along the way. But when you slow down, things come to you.” (Bedouin Guide) I am finding that as my life slows down, waiting has been something that was alien to me. We are taught that when we are hungry, rather than taking the time […]

fear

August 21, 2017

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Most of our lives, we live in fear… … fear of the future … fear of the past … fear of regret … fear of failure … fear of falling short … fear of what others might think … fear of having to little … fear of not achieving enough … fear of losing things […]

Depression

August 13, 2017

1

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain BY EMILY DICKINSON I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading – treading – till it seemed That Sense was breaking through – And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum – Kept beating – beating – till I […]

the violence of the machine

July 12, 2017

5

I AM what I AM. I AM a man of peace and justice. I AM a man of equality and community. Trying to live a life of integrity and simplicity. I AM what I AM. This is my identity. . How does a man of peace Live while being swallowed up By the violence of […]

radical amazement

June 18, 2017

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Radical Amazement not only includes standing in awe and wonder of beauty, wisdom, grace, nature’s power, and the power of the human spirit. Radical Amazement also includes standing in awe and wonder of the depth of the darkness before me, within me, and the depth of the darkness as revealed in you by you; feeling […]

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integral spirituality

May 11, 2017

2

Integral spirituality for me begins with that which is core in life or foundational. This core is fired by a love that is all-consuming in a way that life is lived with integrity and authenticity. It is not superficial but a synchronicity of a person’s inner and outer being, a person’s belief and practice, a person’s […]

Big Bad Thunderstorm– what fun!

April 11, 2017

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What a beautiful day for a walk; clouds full of water drizzling downward, air heavy and warm, sky rather foreboding. But it was time for a walk and I have an umbrella. Besides, who’s afraid of a big bad storm? My umbrella is big and my gate was brisk feeling the energy that walking gives. […]

quibbling facts or digesting truth: my path of the amoeba

April 1, 2017

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If a person says that my statement is judgmental, isn’t THAT being judgmental? Am I being judgmental by asking this question??? Why do we so often judge others and their ideas? What do we fear? Why do we need to set things straight right then and right there? What is true anyway? Well, it depends […]

community and comfort, conformity and certainty

March 19, 2017

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“The lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.” – Kahlil Gibran “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” – William James With all of the faults and misgivings of facebook and other social media, it is still possible […]

knowing and unknowing; truth and untruth

March 4, 2017

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There is no authentic knowing outside of the context of relationship. Without direct experience, “truth” loses its integrity. Since truth with direct experience is subject to interpretation (or possible fallacy), Then truth without direct experience is little more than hearsay (or possible heresy). “If your knowledge of fire has been turned to certainty by words […]

poverty

January 24, 2017

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… until one walks in their shoes, one cannot imagine. If one cannot imagine, one cannot understand. What one cannot understand is feared, and fear creates stories in the mind; stories unconsciously designed to ease fear and create comfort and security among those that partake in privilege and can tell themselves they are comfortable and […]

love… joy… peace

January 1, 2017

2

Do you ever feel like you are striving after the wind or chasing your tail in circles? You try to make a change in your life and finally you are getting somewhere with that change; then you slide back into the quagmire out of which you just dragged yourself.   We tend to be so […]

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a page of lost questions

October 31, 2016

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“A GREAT QUESTION refuses to be answered; so it keeps leading us into deeper connections with each other and into deeper thinking.” (Judith Snow)  ~~~ All learning and all wisdom begins with an open mind and an open  heart that says, “I don’t know.”  ~~~ Questioning keeps us open. Openness allows us to learn. ~~~ […]

the gifts my parents gave to me

June 19, 2016

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… and are still giving. (a reflection on Father’s Day, 2016)   Presence is a great gift given to me by my parents … and they still give to me consistently and predictably. Everyday of my childhood, when I returned from school, my mom was waiting for me with a smile and a hug… everyday! […]

what I’ve learned from my kids

June 19, 2016

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… and am still learning. (a reflection on Father’s Day, 2016) 1. What I think I already know … is always only part of the story. 2. If I already know, … I can no longer learn. 3. I should not believe everything I’m told, … questioning is an important virtue. ~~~ 4. To love […]

Don’t give advice unless you are asked

March 29, 2016

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* Don’t give advice unless you are asked PLEASE. Offer advice ONLY when you are asked. ALWAYS in real life but also in social media. That’s the way life works! * Don’t give advice unless you are asked I am weary of argumentation, opinionation, being right – making wrong. If we seek to live in […]

A world of words

March 8, 2016

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    Words are weapons of violence Words are tools of peace   Words are never the reality itself Words can only point to reality   Reality can be only partially expressed by words that are by nature simply signs and symbols Reality can only be understood through direct experience by the heart; not the […]

the holy or the broken

January 28, 2015

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“Leonard Cohen said the song represented absolute surrender in a situation you cannot fix or dominate, that sometimes it means saying, ‘I don’t fucking know what’s going on, but it can still be beautiful.’” (Colin Frangicetto about the song Hallelujah)   Love is not a victory march It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah […]

the bubble of indifference

December 2, 2014

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“We find comfort among those who agree with us… growth among those who don’t.” (Frank Clark) We all live in some sort of bubble. We tend to gravitate toward those that are the same as us. Why is that? What is it about “me” that draws me toward that which is like myself. Why is […]

Weeds in the midst — yet another arbitrary label?

July 20, 2014

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Thoughts on mindful living We continually insist on living our lives by such fragile labels as “right” and “wrong”. As we all know, down deep, these labels are formulated based on our opinions about things we know very little about. We use our opinionation to discriminate against that which is different from us, that which […]

rock bottom: the beginning of understanding

June 14, 2014

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There really is no integrity or authenticity in our “knowing” if it is outside of the context of relationship and direct experience. A personal story of oppression and privilege Isn’t it interesting how many ways rock bottom can be defined… often especially by zip code (which so often segregates class) Ten years ago, rock bottom for […]

The Importance of Leadership Development in Shifting to a Culture of Gentleness

June 4, 2014

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“Sustainable Culture Shift and Organization Change begin with personal growth and transformation” by Alan Sloan. This is the name of the 11 hour module that I attended at the Toronto Summer Institute on Inclusion with prominent world thinkers and leaders in Inclusion. The fundamental elements that must be nurtured, personally, culturally, and organizationally are based […]

Creating Habits of Community

January 29, 2014

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I was in Lansing last spring waiting for a workshop on structural inequality to begin. Several people were running late and so those of us that were there sat in the circle waiting. I turned to the lady next to me and said ‘hi’ and we began chatting. I had just had a conversation on […]

The Journey

January 26, 2014

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” ~ T. S. Eliot For the eight years that […]

Listening for Unheard Voices

December 28, 2013

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In my work with people with disabilities over the past 34 years, it took me about 30 years to realize the extent to which the dominant society has silenced the voices of the dominated, i.e. the oppressed. When I say “listening for”, I mean something very different than simply “listening to”. Listening to someone means […]

downloaded thinking / cultural conditioning

December 24, 2013

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“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. This is usually quoted as a command or an admonition telling us how to raise our children. But the context of this proverb shines a different light. The whole chapter is a list […]

A Heart Afire

December 15, 2013

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“Oh, Love that fires the sun, Keep me burning.” (Bruce Cockburn) . “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God, the energies of Love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) A heart […]

Discerning Truth

December 15, 2013

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Listening for Truth — Discernment or Discrimination What is the Source of Truth? From where does it come? Within? Or without? Are we an expression of something greater than ourselves? Are we a reflection of a higher power? Is all of creation an expression of the creativity of the Artist? Are we created in the […]

The power of non-violence

September 12, 2013

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“Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evildoer, but it means the pitting of one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant. Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single being to defy the whole might of […]

my guiding principles

August 12, 2013

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There is dignity in each and every individual that comes from the sacredness within each human soul. In every person, gifts are planted in this humus of dignity and sacredness within the soul. Identifying and using these gifts in a context where they are accepted and appreciated is what gives life meaning. Meaning in life can only be discovered by the self. No one […]

My Learning Journey into the Human Spirit

August 11, 2013

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By Ron Irvine To ignite the fire and the potential of the human spirit, individuals must believe in themselves enough to take a stand, take charge, and fight for the right to be a contributing citizen of their community. Micro enterprise development became a new way of seeing and valuing; a shift in my perspective […]

meaning and purpose

June 9, 2013

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“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation “Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to […]

Embracing Mystery and Paradox

June 6, 2013

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The thing that you pursue the most, eludes you… The thing that you fear the most, finds you… The thing that you turn away from, ends up staring you in the face… . The thing that you clench most tighty…ends up as dust in the palm… ashes to the wind… . The thing that you […]

the plunge

April 23, 2007

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I’m a man! I’m a strong, independent, American man!!! At least that’s what I’ve been told I’m supposed to be…. But what is inside this man? When I look into the murky, dark waters of my subconscious, what is there? Anything? America has created this hollow male syndrome. What you see is what you get […]

The Strength of Vulnerability; The Power of Gentleness

April 20, 2019

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“Staying vulnerable is the risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” “Courage starts by showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” “Vulnerability is not weakness… The uncertainty, risk, emotional exposure we face everyday are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with […]

Works Cited

September 13, 2018

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Works Cited Alphabetically (182) “209 Seconds That Will Make You Question Your Entire Existence.” BuzzFeed Videos. BuzzFeed, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2009. Anders, Vesterberg. “Resilience.” Vesterberg.se » Resilience. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2012. . “Andrew Harvey Biography | Author, Mystic, Spiritual Teacher.” Andrew Harvey. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2012. . “Awakin.org.” Awakin RSS. […]