The Clean Slate (and Other Myths)

[This journal entry is from October 16th, 1997. As always, Jay’s current thoughts about this entry are in the post script – Dawn]

     Not many of us are fortunate enough to be raised in Spirit, by people who live in Spirit. Let me rephrase, lest I am misunderstood: everyone lives in Spirit, yet few do so consciously and intentionally, therefore the amount of Spirit they acknowledge in their daily life is quite by accident, and subject to falter unexpectedly.

     Please don’t fault these people for not living in Spirit. Everyone does the best they can with what they have, and those who stray furthest from the Path suffer their own endless torture. They may have raised and taught you in the wrong ways, but it was inevitably the result of being raised and taught the wrong ways themselves, by people who were raised and taught in the wrong ways. It can be traced back into prehistoric times, and you can blame great grandaddy Og for your misery, but I guarantee that will do nothing but pass it on.

     Believe you me, had these influential people known these things, they would have passed it on. When you know Joy, when you know Spirit, you are Joy, you are Spirit, and you cannot help but pass them along. Not as mere information, as I am doing here, but as a way of life. You didn’t get it because they couldn’t give it; they could give only what they had; and, flawed as it may have been, they gave all they could.

     If you are reading and comprehending this, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’ve long since forgotten what it is to be a clean slate. Not to insult the intelligence of children… they innately know these things. They most likely could not put it to words, but they don’t need to. It’s only because they haven’t yet experienced sufficient programming, anyway, the very programming that leads us away from this knowing. The only reason I have a pen in my hand is because I have been programmed, and am utilizing that very programming to deprogram and reprogram myself. Would you like to join me?

     We cannot, at this point, become a clean slate. We can, however, question what has been written, for it is not permanent. It is not easy to change, but it can indeed be changed, and it is well worth it. It must be examined, defined, and changed one mark at a time, but it is time well spent; for your entire perspective can be changed, and your quality of Life can improve by degrees every single day, until you are ultimately filled to overflow with Love, Joy and Spirit… at which point you are ready to learn all the many-splendored truths to be discovered.

Post Script

     I had a strange image back in these days of wiping clean somehow everything that had brought me to the point I was at with proper breathing technique or intense meditation. It may go without saying that I didn’t much like myself, but that wasn’t so clear to me at the time. I have heard many people over the years, including myself, say that human babies are clean slates. Like operating systems awaiting programming, a new person is pure potentiality that becomes blocked or channeled depending on circumstances.

     At the risk of repeating myself too often… what a load of crap. The last journal-related blog was about Ultimate Responsibility, and I much prefer the way things fall into place with that philosophy. The idea that people are born clean slates is as ridiculous as the statement “All men are created equal”. First of all, no they aren’t. Second, what about women? Shouldn’t the saying go “All people are created equal?” It’s still ridiculous, but at least we aren’t excluding half the population.

     I think that statement works fine if we say “All people are created equal in the eyes of God”. Of course, I don’t think of “God” as capable of judgement or as a “being” with eyeballs, so we’ve gone from ridiculous to nonsensical (or at least metaphorical) while still running the risk of seeming heartless upon practical application.

     Do I dare say it? Even if it makes sense, even if the evidence of it is all around me, I’m still not supposed to say it, am I? I can say people are different, I can say that everyone is unique, I can say we are all individuals. I can say no two humans are alike, but I can’t state the obvious: All people are not equal. We’re not created equal, we don’t become equal while alive, and there is no evidence to suggest that death levels out what birth and life failed to. There, I said it. Let’s move on.

     I was not born a clean slate. Neither were you. I was born with very specific DNA, to a certain family, in a time and place that can not possibly be duplicated. Even if we remove any discussion of the soul or the afterlife or beforelife experience, we cannot remove the organism from it’s environment. In the womb, the gestating fetus is contained within the morphogenetic field of its mother for so many months that it would share some commonalities even if it didn’t also share half of her genetic blueprint.

     By the time birth comes around, there are a slew of decisions already made for the new human. As I have noted before, I prefer to think of these decisions being made by the individual in some pre-life planning session. As I have also noted before, this is a personal philosophy that has served to put me in a seat of responsibility for my life. What I didn’t mention before is that this was the only answer I found that made sense to me both intuitively and intellectually when the obvious evidence drove me to ask the question: “Why are humans not all created equal?”

     I can’t really throw around personal accounts as evidence, saying that other lives have led me to this one according to my memory. I can ask that we submit the experiences of all the young people who can play an instrument they’ve never seen or identify people they’ve never met, well documented by now. Are these people clean sales when they are born? Why did all of my mathematics lessons seem like simple stuff I already knew until advanced algebra came along like a foreign language I had never heard?

     Even if the human baby were a clean slate, the specific geographic location of its new body will determine aspects of its continuing development. You can change the environment; but you cannot have an organism without some environment or another, and even a constantly shifting environment is still an environment. That environment has physical, mental and emotional components that will influence development inevitably. These are pretty big holes in the clean slate theory.

     When I was writing this journal over fifteen years ago, I had a lot of views about the perfect childhood and education system and how much damage the typical upbringing was seemingly deliberately causing. I still feel that the best way to improve everything is to focus as a society on ensuring that every child has proper nutrition, housing and education. From the personal perspective of me having lived more life as an adult than I have as a child, personal responsibility has been some aspect of every answer I have found to every question worth asking. After over twenty years in the working world of the United States, I can frankly say that most people are running a program they learned a long time ago; and that program could have been much better designed and installed. The people working on deliberately changing their programming are plentiful, but they are bright spots in a night sky of people just making it through the day.

     Not to judge or criticize; I have spent my share of time on auto-pilot just trying to make it through the day. Sometimes I even wondered if I would. I always did, though; and adopting an attitude and personal philosophy that made personal responsibility a priority turned out to have quite a few fringe benefits.

     A large part of what has brought me through so many days was the knowing that I have a destiny to fulfill. It was a difficult thing to discover, and the levels of discovery never end; however, it was not something I made up. I had to dig deep again and again to look for what I had to say and how I had to say it. I worked every day with the knowledge I continue to work with: everyone has a destiny, but not all destinies are fulfilled. Every day I have to work at it, and every moment I spend deliberately working at it changes me forever.

     There is an argument that basically states that greatness is only achieved in the face of adversity. There is certainly some validity to the argument, even if only in the many examples of hugely successful people who started from places of poverty, extreme abuse and physical handicap. Certainly a great deal of my own accomplishments can be attributed to my desire to deliberately overcome resistance in some form, and its hard to say what I would have accomplished under different circumstances with different forms of resistance. From the perspective of Ultimate Responsibility, though, one learns to appreciate the gifts of resistance; and that understanding trumps forgiveness, as compassion replaces defensiveness.

Do you have a question or comment about this weeks blog? Send them to jay@jaynorry.com, or comment below. Next weeks blog is Chapter 3 of “Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels”, just in time for Halloween – stay tuned! Thanks for reading!

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