S is for Change

The great constant in nature is Change. Working with the imperative of Change and the ego’s resistance to Change is the great challenge of living. Change is the first letter in the New Signs alphabet because Change is the beginning, the continuously happening, and the endings.

O is for Origin

The delusion of linear time is that life happens in a line. Neither does life happen in a circle, joining back at a fixed beginning. Rather, the reality of space and time is like a coil, turning, returning, but never experiencing the same moment twice in the same place. Origin is like a slinky, DNA, the mortal coil, the gyre. The universe is composed of coiling spirals.

O is for Origin

G is for Energy

That which moves us along the coils of of Origin is the invisible, non-material power of Energy. Nothing changes in the absence of Energy, and it is produced in abundance by our desire system, our will to survive. Energy is conducted along the coils of the spiral of Origin, hence we are driven.

U is for Vessel

Energy requires containment to become form, just as we think of spirit requiring the womb to become body. Vessels are our containing forms and our vehicles for moving through life. The sign for Vessel represents both the container and its potential; the difference between nothing and something is the Vessel.

T is for Perseverance

The labor of birth, change, living, dying demands Perseverance, like cutting through something tough with a blade we must keep sharpening. Creative living includes some part of suffering; some part of loss, some destruction. This is the desolation beneath the existential nature of mind, and is borne endlessly. Patience, endurance, discipline are Perseverance.

V is for Transition

In the time and space at the threshold of Change, there is a passage, a Transition. Transition includes both the state before and the state to come; it is a transit away from what was, to what will be. In a sense, Transition is always in process, and at the same time, can happen in an instant, or be perceived as a separate and finite experience.

E is for Offspring

Here is the bud, the shoot, the zygote, nub, grub, the Offspring. The shape and sound are found everywhere in nature and language to signify Offspring, babe, baby, nino, bambini. This is the primordial curl of new life offspringing: when two-become-one, then birth, when one-becomes-two. Babee is said with a smile in all tongues.

M is for Nurture

Nature contains the biologically determined drive to go beyond survival, the will to thrive, to Nurture and be nurtured, to give and receive nourishment. Nurturance is our deep and primitive drive and is evident all around in the natural world. It is the base form beneath the concept of love, as expressed in the material and metaphysical, emotional and intellectual realms.

W is for Witness

To Witness an other is to be both one and two, to know one’s separation by observing a separate, but recognizable other. Pleasure and pain are wrapped up in our mirror capacity for Witness. We live almost like a twin, separated at birth, always searching for our true like Self in others. We long for Witness, to see and be seen.

I is for Self

Our capacity to differentiate, to perceive differences results in the concept of Self. Ego is born of Witness, and Self ensues. This capacity for splitting brings up the desire for joining; isolation produces suffering and the will to connect. Consciousness of Self drives the desire to love; one become two become one.

C is for Desire

Life wants more life. Desire is a sliver of moon, alight on its edge, conscious of the absent whole. We move through life feeling the absence of a remembered whole, longing for fullness, for fulfillment. Glimpses of our full Self appear and retreat, and we are left longing, searching, waiting, seeking; in a permanent condition of Desire.

L is for Regard

Consciousness of Self and our sense of separation brings Desire to join, merge, to connect. Thus we hold others in our Regard, in which all of our senses organize to observe, take in, contemplate. Regard, wherein we hold the lamp -our perception- up to another is also a base form in our capacity to love. Regard, separated from competition, is a way to respect, to hold in esteem, to connect.

F is for Mind

Sensate experience is converted by Mind into thoughts, feelings, reactions, memories. Mind is the vehicle that moves the material, object-laden world into the split-off world of Self consciousness, the world of the subjective. Mind converts matter into symbol; it is the abstraction machine, layering thoughts upon thoughts, converting all into sign, into language. Using the capacity to think symbolically, Mind can still the ego and the sense of separation that drives suffering.

P is for Compassion

Desire and Perseverance combine to form Compassion, the caring capacity of consciousness to feel the pain of separation, the longing for relief, and the effort to re-connect. Compassion feels the vicissitudes of the separate Self and can extrapolate or extend the feeling to others, moving to the promise of re-joining via acts of love. Compassion is the great cracking open to the deeper heart within the Self, to vulnerability, and provides a return to no separation, no Self, no thing.

N is for Within

We make cultures filled with ideas, concepts, laws, directions, answers to attempt control of the mystery of living. Attaching to belief systems and ideas of absolute truth are produced by the sense of not knowing, not controlling Change. Yet, wisdom is available Within. A profound discernment is possible by turning Regard within consciousness, looking Within, wherein a capacity exists that is available to the most learned and the most simple. Within the very structure of form, the body, there is a common knowing, a connective intelligence.

R is for Body

The Body holds every thing; matter containing divine potential. It is a composition of the elements -earth, fire, water, air... or in other terms - matter, energy, flow, and void. The Body grows into its form, undergoes change, then deforms; and so also consciousness comes into form, changes, decomposes. The Body contains the Self, Desire, pleasure, pain. We can learn about reality by close observation of processes and Feelings in the Body, simply by turning our Regard Within, Body is our world, our vehicle, our gift, our Vessel.

X is for Choice

From moment to moment, Mind makes choices. It is a choosing machine, as we constantly work with the stimulation of the senses and the Within. We choose what to give attention, reaction, thought, action. Life in a sense, is the perpetual annunciation of possible choices. Choices can be habitual patterns at unconscious levels. Yet we have the capacity to move even the most subtle choices into consciousness, to Change our will. We can Change our choices, our patterns, our Minds.

Q is for Humor

Feelings, the weather of the body, twist our minds and we spin out of control of our thinking selves. We face the predicament of fallibility, we err, we twist in the wind, off track of reality. Like weather, we can watch the storms come and go, or we can react constantly, producing discomfort and suffering. We can take feelings with a sense of Humor. We can develop Compassion and forgiveness when we learn to Humor our feelings.

J is for Joy

When goals and striving, or thinking of memories, or fantasizing about the future are all silenced, when Mind is fully present without reference points, comparisons, or cravings, it becomes possible to experience joy in abundance, celebration in living. Holding open the ever-possibility of happiness, even in the midst of suffering, develops skillful living. Joy, feeling fully alive, is contained within the cells, in the body of Energy, always available. Happiness is our home and we can return and return.

H is for Home

Home is a state of mind Within consciousness that is often projected onto external things, like towns, cities, countries, buildings. We feel, with certain people, dwellings, ecologies, circumstances, that we are “at home.” Mind and heart cooperate to recognize Home where we find a sense of belonging and sometimes wellbeing. We are often engaged in many years of work to make Home for ourselves and others. Yet Home is a location in the psyche, where we feel a sense of connection or unity with objects outside, where we come close to true being, undifferentiated.

K is for Knowing

The more we Know, the more we don’t Know. This is the paradox of knowledge. Knowledge born of liberated curiosity can result in wisdom but knowledge collected to satisfy the ego’s desire to control and compete results in foolishness, ignorance, and suffering. Liberated Knowing is both absorbing and penetrating, deconstructing and generative, yin and yang. The closer we get to Knowing an other, for example, the more we feel connected to an all-Knowing consciousness, or the Great Mystery. Knowing is an active state of mind, rather than a static possession.

B is for Courage

The more we are willing to experience not-Knowing, or the mundane human condition of mind, and the feelings of fear and confusion that are a result, the more opportunities we have to experience Courage. Courage is like a strong heartedness with a handle attached; like a heart as a tool, used with skill to live fully and in the present. A life lived heart-first, with Compassion as the driving force, is a Courageous event. The habit of Courage always counteracts the ego’s striving for constant security and control.

Y is for the Question, The Quest

We don’t have answers to the meaning of life. Seeking them, seeking meaning, we can receive the wisdom of not knowing. Attaching to absolute answers means succumbing to fear of the unknown. Courage is developed on the path of great questions, continuing to ask and never know. The questioning path keeps us in accord with natural humility, the acceptance of our limited consciousness and the limitations of our ego drives for survival. The mystic has more wisdom than the religious doctrinaire. “What?” and “why?” are great teachers.

Z is for Balance

Just as water seeks low ground and least resistance, so our Body seeks innate balance, fundamental equanimity. Extreme reactions to feelings, without Humor, produce oppositions as everything in nature reacts, swings, moves and bends toward Balance. Clinging to feelings, experiences, beliefs, and memories results in off-balance choices. Yet, rigidity will not help. We can be like trees, rooted but able to bend in the wind, change with the weather but still hold form, move around while keeping Balance in Mind.

D is for Trust

Because of the perpetuity of Change, we are constantly confronted with the experience of not knowing what is happening next, and not being able to control our external world. The natural response is to make things stop, slow down, cling to the past. Cultivation of Trust—diving into the next unknowable moment— sets up the potential for a life rich in creativity and Joy. We dive into each moment, unresisting to Change, by trusting in the unknown.

A is for New Form

Ceaseless change forever reproduces the state of endless potential. Although everything in existence is mutually dependent—connected— there are ever-expanding chances for new combinations, relationships, extrapolations. The human mind learns and attaches to particular forms and meanings, failing to see other potentials, always in flux. The creative human—artists, scientists, spiritual practitioners— can observe changing forms, can envision new extrapolations, can move beyond received meanings.

Birthing new form is practice bordering on the divine.