Monday, 21 July 2008

Walks With Cats

This blog is about my relationship to my wonderful cats... and to money.

Now there is no way you can manipulate cats into loving you. That is one of the obvious reasons I love them as much as I do! They are, as all animals that have not become disturbed, so very real and honest. Though sometimes I think, "darn cat, can't you listen to my command even for once!", there is no way that you can truly hold their independent airs against them. And who can resist there wonderful displays of joy and affection? The purring and close encounters with your body are rather infectious indeed!

All of my life, cats have provided me with comfort and warmth when the human sphere hasn't, but also a flicker of hope. My cats are my mirrors in many ways. The sensuality they display is definitely a quality inherent in my own persona as well. I hope that one day I can enjoy life as much as they do.

The love of your cat is something you earn because you give of yourself and show them that they can trust you completely. Sure you can get your cats to do tricks like a dog. Maybe you've witnessed this at the Cat Circus. But who needs a cat who does tricks? Is it not already enough to follow the subtle expressions and fluctuations of their inner life and the facets of their personality? I know, they are just animals... but as such, they teach me many basic things about life that I have yet to discover in my relationship to human beings.

It's funny how some people like to be a little arrogant and say that we are just projecting our feelings on the pets, that we only want to have them because it's "easy love", and so forth. The truth the way I see it is that they make life livable, they help us get through the day when times are rough, and they DO have feelings and personality. In any case, the love you give them comes straight back to you. You know when you're in touch with your heart, because you can see it reflected in your pet. Maybe I'm even reflecting my own potential bliss when I am seeing my cat in extasy.

I suppose my three cats are fortunate because they receive plenty of attention from me throughout the day. One of them is always present, which dispels some of my solitude. A trio that was disparate in the beginning, has gradually become a unanimous whole in which each displays a completely separate form of energy. I sometimes think that they represent the Indian concepts of kapha, pitta and vata rather well... Marius (gray, long haired) is big, cute and rather lethargic, Robin (an orange tabby) is robust but intense and expressive, and Beatrice (white and black) is calculating and the fastest and fiercest little thing imaginable. The cats that I had before taught me what love feels like. These remind me of it every day. Without them, I would be a lost soul, since I would probably have much greater difficulties in keeping my heart open.

The bond I have with them is manifested in our walks in the forest. The fact that my cats follow me on their own accord surprises most people. In other words, there are no leashes. How would I put up with the solitude here in the forest where I live if it wasn't for our little walks? The cats are very excited as soon as I ask them to go "out", though usually they are the ones who beckon me to do go for a walk. What kind of human would I be if I didn't follow their regal wish? "Your wish is my command" - indeed! But what can I say - it is great fun!

Sometimes I call them to come to me, as I happen to be ahead of them. Robin comes in great leaps towards me and gives a head bonk and brushes himself against my leg. Marius tends to lag behind but trots towards me with his chubby allure. The last few meters he starts running towards me with a look of cheerful expectancy. When he reaches me he pushes my hand and looks for appraisal. Beatrice runs very fast but may run up in a tree on the way. She then rushes towards my outstretched arms... and then changes direction just a few degrees and runs past me and away... Contrary to the guys she will never do what she is being asked to do! She is indeed the primadonna of this gang, although Robin in practice is the one that is at the top of the hierarchy.

Now what I call my "theory of cats" is basically that life is at its most wonderful when there is a spontaneous and joyful give and take that involves a lot of sweet talk and affectionate cuddling. I estimate that the ratio would be about 90% love and 10% reprimands. Although I naturally respond to other animals too, cats have a special place in my life also because they remind me of the act of letting go of control and manipulation. This leads me to something I have given a lot of thought all throughout my adult life, and I always seem to arrive at the same conclusion.

At times I encounter people who tell me that I can have everything I ever wanted if I only realize the power of my mind to create and manifest my inner and outer reality. I know the principles behind this kind of thinking very well. The Secret and the teachings connected to it are by no means new and groundbreaking. I do not disagree with the ideas per se. However, I am afraid that something complex is being simplified to fit selfish pursuits of some people who cover up as spiritual beings but are instead serving the powers of materialism and spiritual stagnation.

I feel that I know quite a bit about the darker side of life. Now let's see... here is a suggestion of a way of categorizing "dark". There is the neutral darkness of the physical world, such as the dark of the night or the color black. There is a passive, emotional darkness that comes out of ignorance and is mainly just depressing and self-destructive. Then there is the active force of mental darkness, that attempts to allure and convince by using all means available. Some form of 'negative' energy has to exist in a dual world, otherwise there would be no evolution and no creation. This polar, opposing aspect doesn't have to be terribly 'negative', though. I feel that my positive insights come into being through a dialectic process that requires a negation (thesis versus antithesis equals synthesis). In the present world, this negation is often sad or evil in nature. This is part of the way evolution unfolds. Let us not be judgmental though. I feel that suffering and struggle can be part of a learning process that makes some souls into very knowledgeable and strong ones. This is not to say that it will always be this way. What I am saying is that maybe accepting it is part of a healing process towards a lighter and more joyful existence. I feel that it is absolutely necessary to face the dark... to look at and acknowledge it; even to love it, as part of the creation.

I do not think that the forces that may be trying to allure you will get a hold of you if you really believe in compassion for all living beings and our beautiful Earth. Compassion will lead to a sense of Oneness. So if someone talks of Oneness but doesn't display any signs of compassion, then maybe you shouldn't listen to them. I would also venture to claim that we do not have to choose between Oneness or dualism. In fact, the way I see it is that this is also a polarity that can be comprised in a fundamental paradox of being.

I am saying all this because I want to explain why I think it's important to deeply contemplate our relationship to many of the forces that make this world go around. Although money is not evil per se, it seems to corrupt more often than not. Money obviously serves to satisfy many worldly desires. While I do think that we need to enjoy our time on Earth, I also feel that we should examine the forces that drive us and what kind of behavior ensues when we have things such as money, power, and success. Are the means to these ends truly honorable? Do you honestly believe that you can have things of the world without giving something in return?

How about sometimes giving something else than money? Maybe we should acknowledge the existence of money but actively try not to feed the sense of separation by thinking about it all the time and fretting in attempts to control the way our lives unfold on that level. Thinking back, I have been poor a lot, but many times money has arrived when truly needed. Poverty can force a person to make decisions they would not have made otherwise, and it may all be for the better from the point of view of the soul's development. Would I really trade the wisdom I feel it has given me for a pact with the dark forces that may be using spiritual jargon to corrupt a real ascension of this level of existence? Well... I think that in this respect my conscience is clear.

Let's just make our decisions wisely! Let's practice discernment! We do not always need everything money can buy, although a lot of it certainly is nice to have. Sometimes we can also stretch what we or others already have, instead of adding to the vices of consumerism. This can be done either by willing it thoughtwise (though I admit it can be quite a demanding challenge), or by plain recycling. But... most of all, I wish that we would focus our energies towards a happy give and take in an open and uncontrolling way!

Artwork: Digital photograph of Robin checking something out on one of the walks, copyright 2008 by author

No comments:

Post a Comment