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There are as many versions of reality as there are people to perceive them. This was reinforced for me on Tuesday when I entertained a couple friends who stopped by my house on their way to Santa Barbara. DJ and Melanie had just come from Orange County, where they had stayed the night at the house of Jason Goldstein. Jason is an old grade school friend of both DJ and myself, and he lives in a one bedroom apartment with his two children and their mother, Jennifer, as well as Jennifer's son from a prior partner. 

I asked Melanie and DJ separately how their evening went. My question was greeted by a long face from Melanie, who said she was still in shock and recovering from all the chaos at the Goldstein residence. The parents are always at war, the kids have no structure and little supervision; Jason is more like an older brother than a responsible parent, and the food they are feeding their kids, fried food mainly, in an every man for himself set-up, has put all concerned on the fast track to life-long obesity. Melanie said with a sigh of relief that she couldn't get out of there soon enough. 

DJ, on the other hand, had a grand old time. He told me at great length about the exciting game of tennis baseball he played with Jason and Jason's two sons, Cooper and Austin, a game he and Austin won in dramatic fashion in the game's final frame. He recalled the relaxing time he had in the Jacuzzi, where he met a pretty girl dunking her new iPhone in the water just for show. To hear the two talk you would think that they had spent the past 24 hours on opposite sides of the globe rather than in one another's company. I commented on this phenomenon to DJ, who asked Melanie what about their night at Jason's didn't sit well. She reiterated what she said to me, and DJ remarked that he'd been completely oblivious to the combustible dynamics which had so upset his sweetheart. I put in that I also would have been troubled by everything that had caught Melanie's attention, which is why I have never visited Jason's home, and to Jason's credit, probably why he has never invited me over. 

So you see, reality really is how you perceive it. But if you widen your perspective, expand your consciousness, you can see the many variations inherent in events, notice the nuances as well as the obvious. But to do so, you must make the effort. For those who have eyes, let them see. This is a variation of a quote by Jesus Christ, who was referring to a passage in the Old Testament. I am struck by the beauty of Christ's life. Recently I read the four Gospels and numerous times tears came to my eyes. How impeccable was Christ's life! He existed solely for the benefit of humanity. 

Before his ministry began, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, where he was tempted by Satan. Satan showed Jesus all the material riches of the Earth, and said Jesus could have them if he pledged his allegiance to darkness. In other words if he used his genius and his miraculous powers for selfish and egoistic ends rather than for the upliftment of his fellow men and women. But Christ demurred, saying he'd rather live among the poor and in poverty than as a king on a throne, because he already was a king in heaven. 

And so Jesus walked the Earth and associated with all the dregs of society, as well as reproving the religious hierarchy for their hypocritical ways. Christ consciousness is cosmic consciousness. Christ was able to relate to and see life through the eyes of anyone he happened upon, in all stations and walks of life, saint or sinner and everyone in between. He was able to do this because he had expanded his consciousness to include all perspectives. Each of us contains the universe within, and the infinite potential lies within each breast. To know yourself, and meditating in the desert Christ was doing exactly this, is to know everything. 

You can do the same. And when you do, you will see that the Jasons in your life are only repeating the dynamic that went on in their childhood homes, with parents ever at war. But you will understand that parents don't really like to fight, it is simply the dynamic at work when two individuals are brought together to bear the harsh realities of making ends meet in the dog eat dog conditions of modern society. And dogs will eat almost anything, especially if it's fried.

Each individual is like an element. Like a hydrogen or an oxygen or a sodium or calcium. When elements of opposite polarity are brought together they bind. Sometimes forever. Like elements, on the other hand, repel. Sometimes sparks fly. Sometimes a combustion reaction takes place. Sometimes there is no reaction whatsoever. And then you can only hope that the families of the world find lasting harmony, that we be as eels swimming through muddy waters, like the lotus flower rising majestically from the muck and mire. And so you pray as I do, each and every morning. You say: "Lord, bless this day. I dedicate every thought, word and deed to your lotus feet. Please allow me to be an instrument of the highest good. And may all the beings in the world find peace." 

Which is to say, "Thy will be done." And thank goodness that I for one am not married!


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