I see a stunning scarlet poppy field backed by blue mountains, the beauty easing my being on a cold Monday morning. But then I look at the source of this image on my Facebook timeline and my sense of peace turns to ire. “How dare she post this with no credit to the photographer!” I yell to no one but myself.
I get up and pace my home’s great room, from the kitchen—still smelling of cinnamon from breakfast—to my living room with its cushiony rug.
The fieriness of the emotion informs me that this is about more than copyright infringement. But what? I release the issue to my Beloved and go about my day.
I answer emails and edit a client’s essay. I recognize that part of my reaction to this woman’s Facebook page—on which she posts beautiful images she finds on the Internet, always without giving credit—is simply jealousy.
It has taken me many months to build the Facebook page for The Inner Adventure. I put time and energy into creating original content, including hours out shooting photos. How easy it would be to use the very best of the Internet and represent it as my own creation. (For more about my journey in writing about the Beloved, check out my post All In.)
But I also know that’s not this woman’s intention. She simply has a keen eye for inspiring photographs and she’s using it to good effect. Practically everyone steals images off the Internet these days. Again I release this to the Beloved.
I log onto Facebook and there find another stunning image from her page. On this one in the comments field I write, “It would be great to know the source of this, and that person would probably appreciate the credit.” It’s as neutral a message as I can muster.
In the coming hours I wait to see if the message kicks back. If it does, it’s usually a sign that my own message has a bite.
Still I ask the Beloved to guide me, to show me what this is really about. In the night, while I sleep, the answer begins to come. And in the morning as I do my reading contemplation, suddenly a truth illuminates.
It is I who fail to give credit for the bountiful gifts in my life. Each time I reach to the outer for love, money, health or recognition, I am denying the true Source.
All comes from the Beloved. It is only a trick of the mind that claims responsibility for this magnificent creation that with every breath draws me closer to my true home.
As I enter my day, I’m released from angst toward this beautiful soul and her creation. I do have a message from her explaining where she gets her photographs. Through the innocent reply I realize she has no idea that she is misusing others’ art, and so I briefly explain and direct her to a Facebook page that lovingly educates about downloading photographs from the Internet and posting them as your own: Photography Copyright.
I am able to do this with neutrality because it no longer matters to me what she does. That is her business. On my own photographs I get the long-overdue nudge to place watermarks—notations with my web address—an easy solution.
Later in the day, I log onto Facebook and see a message from her page saying she will no longer be posting except on her personal page. At first I am struck with a sense of responsibility and sadness at the loss of the beauty of her posts.
In a note back to me she writes: “I understand it’s important to give credit where credit is due.” I write back saying that I hope she will continue and simply find a way to give that credit.
A week later I’m closing up the house for the night. I lock the doors and secure the shutters. All is quiet out here in the piñon forest where I live. Suddenly my mind churns about money. It counts days and weeks and years and dollar amounts trying to be sure I will have enough.
I call on the Beloved to stop my mind’s grasping.
I suspend into the now, here with my cat, the quiet of the night, and the calming love that flows in upon my simple request.
In the next dawn as I lie between flannel sheets and listen to the quiet, I recognize the power of that moment. I see that when I let my mind count, calculate, or in any way rely on the outer, I give credit to the mind, as though my sustenance comes from it, from the material world. Instead I can call on the Beloved and move into that spectacular state of knowing that Its Infiniteness supplies all, and that I can rely on It always and forever.
With this dawning, I grasp the imperative of dwelling in the Love vibration in every moment—since It truly creates all.
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“Stop my mind’s grasping” is a wonderful description of the desperate entity I am learning is “the mind”. Lovely expression of your experience, Lesley. The bite comes when I realize that I am immersed in my mind and I am its servant. Wherever my mind wants me to go, in thought or the world, that’s where I go, without check or restraint.
This realization of my imprisonment within the mind is a gift. I do my best to offer my experience of incarceration to the Shabda Master, Who alone has my soul’s interest uppermost in His plan for my destiny.
The mind only wants its next thrill, via the senses. This is what I have come to see about my mind. This simple realization is stunning. After all these years of study…simply stunning.
Beautifully said, Al. The realization of the opposition’s power really is stunning, but not nearly as stunning, I find, as the recognition of our Beloved’s omnipotence. Really, it is no contest when we align ourselves with the One.
Your writings are always appreciated sweet Lesley, there is always something new for me to learn when reading them. The Beloved has a way of speaking to us through all that we encounter in life.
Letting go and resigning all cares and worries to what is deeply and eternally true is no small task, especially when one has been trained otherwise. Yet when we can stepaway from that old training and realize it to be a machine in a cyclical ongoing pattern then it becomes easier to look at that which has always been waiting for our deeper recognition. No doubt it is a step by step process (like the layers of an onion) where guidance is imperative….Oh Beloved what would I do without your Eternal Love.
Thank you again sweet dear…:-) <3
So true, Logan, that is really what the path is about, in every now, as you say, letting go of our cares and worries. It’s amazing how much happens with that simple action that is really a profound surrender in the moment and to our Beloved. Thank you!
Your message today strikes a hot chord. I use photographs from other sources, and most of them have no photographer named, so I reference the site where the photo was found, even though I am aware that with additional research I could possibly find the original photographer. Your article gives me the spiritual nudge I need to move me off my lazy ways.
That said, thank you for the deeper, richer truths expressed here. “I can call on the Beloved and move into that spectacular state of knowing that Its Infiniteness supplies all, and that I can rely on It always and forever.” That is the bottom line of bottom lines. Thank you for such a beautiful addition to my morning contemplation.
Rudy, I was impressed with your quick switch about photo use. All I did was ask the source one time and then you always told where you got them. It showed a great deal of integrity. And thank you for your comment. Trusting the Beloved truly is, as you say “the bottom line of bottom lines.”
I so loved this spot-on description of practicing the reflective principle. A great reminder to use it in our every day experiences.
Sheila, I’m happy you pointed that out. For me this writing was as much about that as it was anything else. The lessons are so hidden and yet so blatant as well. As our Beloved Guides says, it is a treasure hunt, and our true selves are the prize.
Lesley, your writings are always beautiful, inspiring, had always a channel for the Beloved Shabda. I find that I want to respond, sometimes react…&…often am speechless. More & more, contemplation seems to be the need that surfaces… Realizing the need to look closer to home as it were ! I am grateful for this awareness, for your writings…for the Beloved tap on my being… Thank you…
Thank you, Susan, I am happy that this practice of channeling the Divine love sparks your creativity. It is an honor for me to do this, in His name. And I am grateful for the beautiful way you convey the love as well.
Lesley, what a beautiful contemplation. Thank you for the willingness to explore deeply. I recently had a reverse experience where I accidentally (??) stumbled upon a beautiful image that I wanted to post on my Facebook page. I left a message for the professional photographer, asking if I could post his photo with credit…promising to do so only if he granted permission. For days I waited anxiously but he never replied. My mind kept making excuses, “maybe he’s on assignment and hasn’t seen my message,” which is laughably naive but the mind wants what it wants and writes its own fiction to fit today’s desire. Finally releasing my disappointment to the Beloved, I realized that my ego was craving reflected glory. All negative feelings evaporated instantly and the mind shut down its storytelling…replaced with a warm glow of gratitude to Garji. It’s our own glory as fully realized beings that our Beloved wants for us. Post that on Soulbook!
What a beautiful experience, Diane. Wow, that is quotable: “It’s our own glory as fully realized beings that our Beloved wants for us.” That is so true. So often I find myself wanting to post something in order to get attention. Then I turn inward and find all the loving recognition I could ever want or need, plus a ton more of pure LOVE. What a great experience you had. Thank you for sharing it here!
This blog has really touched me as I struggle financially and with uncovering what exactly it is I’m supposed to do to make a living. In many moments, I can come to terms with the fact that I am already doing exactly what I’m supposed to or I wouldn’t be doing it! But other times, it’s a difficult go with questioning and doubting steps I’ve taken. I just loved the patience you had with yourself and with uncovering an answer about why there was such a rise in anger upon seeing your images posted as someone else’s. I’ve been frequently perturbed with not getting the credit my mind/ego feels it deserves for its hard work at my current job, and then I just get more irate when I see myself in this silly place, which makes me more reactive, still! You recognized something was getting a rise out of you, but also that for this very reason, there must be a deeper message. It takes courage to jump off the train track of reaction and not get down on yourself for its tendencies. You’ve reminded me to take a closer look, and know I may see a gift of insight, a limitation perhaps being shown, but always a guidance towards a subtler, more attuned version of me. I am truly loving your live-wire observances and your way of sharing your experience in your writing, Lesley. Thank you so much for your hard work, and for continually allowing our Beloved to shine on through you to us, your readers 🙂
Laura, thank you for your kind response. Truly, our greatest job, and the one I continually strive for here and in all that I do, is to be a channel of Divine love. For me the teaching from the Beloved in this post brought home how much easier it is to change the inner than the outer. Imagine if I had taken on the task of trying to stop people from mis-using images on the Internet. One could spend lifetimes on such an endeavor and never succeed. The inner solution only took moments and very little energy and left me in peace. As you well know, the Beloved is guiding us all in every moment. All we need do is listen, and have the courage to act on that guidance.