I think about the concept of service a lot lately.
The 'type' of service I'm focused on most of the time is the idea of contribution in the outside world; how I'm giving my abilities to the whole.
I like contemplation on what I am contributing, as it keeps me focused on free of my own egoic constructs..
Meditations on service keep me awake, and out of the quagmire of my own self-serving.
As I have wrote about before, my focus and questioning in life has shifted profoundly in the last few years, from 'How do I get happier and more successful?' to "How can I help?", and this shift has made all the difference. Not only have I become happier (helping others does that, apparently), but I've also understood in clearer and clearer ways how interconnected and systems-based our world really is, and come to a place of more love for all beings on the daily. I have transcended the boundaries of 'me', living as I was previously in my limited definition of self, and have placed myself back in the natural state of living in community and reciprocity.
It's a nice place to be, and seems to be getting better all the time.
However, I also think about a difference kind of 'service' a lot lately though, one that has less to do with the outward energies and actions that an individual can take, and more with what we allow our minds to focus on, what we give our own energy to within us.
What beliefs and focus we are 'serving', I guess.
We all make an impossible number of decisions every day (generally without even noticing that they are decisions) in how to react to life. We chose our mood when we wake up, we choose how to greet the people we interact with, and we choose how to think about the place in life that we hold. We choose where to place our minds, all the time.
I think that what Dylan was getting at in this old song line was that in this constant choosing our minds may either work from the perspective and understanding of 'God'--which is, as I see it, love, compassion, openness and kindness--or the "Devil'--who could also be called hate, fear, violence, and separation.
That every day we make a choice to 'serve' either of these 'energies' (an easier title to give them than attempting to categorize such concepts without a religious framework through which to understand the G.O.D. or his nemesis) by placing our mind in the frequencies that the idea of them offer.
We align ourselves in service to those perspectives, and 'give' ourselves to that cause, if I may.
This is important to realize so that we can engage in an intentional act of choosing 'higher' and more god-like perspectives (which are available to all of us, if we choose to serve them), instead of fear-based ones, improving the quality of our lives and certainly changing the contributions we make to the whole. This is hard to do, yes, and requires practice in meditation and awareness so that we can move beyond reactionary habits and responses, but it is available to each of us.
I bring this up today because I think that this act--choosing a perspective of love and compassion instead of fear, NO MATTER WHAT-- is what is going to save our species. If we are to be saved.
It is not just the actions that we take in the next while that will determine our course, but the energy that is behind those actions, for whatever energy we are operating from--even if our actions are 'good'--we will serve that type of energy in the world and it will grow.
Sure, what we do in the outside world is extremely important, but I believe that this particular process of evolution that we--that consciousness--is traversing right now has far more to do with the power of the energy of thought, and how that affects our world. We are learning just how intimately our feelings and emotions are interconnected and mirrored by the 'reality' that we exist in.
It is the energy of our thoughts that needs to be considered at this time in history, understanding what we do of the nature of this universe...being as we are the (un)conscious creators of this experience.
We can all go out and seek to heal the environment, and the actions taken may look the same but may have entirely different energies behind them. One person may seek to stop a mining operation with anger and fear, while the other seeks to do so with love for the earth and compassion for all involved. The outcome may even look similar, but the energy that is added to the whole system and the 'individual' who is served (be they the devil or be they the lord, be they fear or be they love) will grow stronger.
I have to sit down and organize these thoughts because I am RAMBLIN, a la Dylan.
I have been taking on blog posts that are WAY too big of ideas for these short explorations lately, and think that perhaps this one will be best served by some time sitting down with a pen and getting clear on what it is I'm working through..
BUT in the meantime:
Choose to serve someone. Choose to intentionally put your thoughts and feelings and responses in the hands of someone, one of those two characters of epic proportions. For if nothing else, today let us be more conscious than we were yesterday, and the act of choosing and remembering that we can choose in our experience of life is where we begin to become the powerful creators we were born to be.