11 May 2012

#6: Notes to Self

"Always remember to let go and forgive- actively look for things to be grateful for from all of the past hurts because in that way you can more proactively embrace a positive present moment from which to build the joyful future you so deeply long to experience..."

~Chad Schloss

(From my 2012 "Notes To Self")

30 April 2012

#5: Roundtable of Life

We are all Multifaceted Beings with much to bring to the "Roundtable of Life".

First of all, what is the "Roundtable of Life"?  For me it is the "dance" of learning from everyone all the time, and either intentionally (or unintentionally) teaching something in return.

The idea mentioned above began to germinate a few days ago, but I knew not where it was headed and I knew not why it wouldn't go away, that is until today (03-may-12).  So, now a few days later I'm completing-clarifying this nebulous idea that's been floating around in my mind.

So many people have influenced my life and for all of their influences, I Am Grateful.  The monumental task of narrowing it down to just three of the most extraordinarily influential people of my life (as defined in the book "The Magic" (exercise 12) has made me realize today just how blessed my life has truly been.


For my Spiritual/Moral/Ethical compass I must thank my mom, first and foremost, primarily because she was by example my first and best teacher for how to be human and live a Spirit centered life.  For the most part I do live a moral, ethical, spirit guided life, and yet I Am quite human so there are moments of weakness when my thoughts slip into "darker realms" or when a small frightened part of my consciousness convinces the rest of me that I may temporarily bend my compass needle or ignore spiritual guidance and direction altogether for personal reasons (usually survival) but in the end (more recently) I strive to do the right thing by often pausing-thinking to myself, "How will I feel about myself if I give into these lower, base emotions or desires?"  Typically this is all that's required for me to stay on the straight and narrow, most of the time; however, "I Am a spiritual being having a human experience." (source: uncertain) - So, to "slip-up" is human and to forgive myself, Divine.

Anyway, there have been times when special people have come into my life and provided me with insights towards previously unrecognizable opportunities.  And to those many people I say:
"Thank You! Thank You!  Thank You!"

On the other hand there have been moments of challenge and choice in my life (especially as a young man) wherein I didn't take the high road, or more often than not I froze in fear of hurt and failure, or worst of all I ran away in a moment of terror due to threats of death and dismemberment, but tragically freezing so often and in one terrible instance running in terror, each proved a far worse fate than facing those fears and acting with courage I wish I could have shown.  I'll chalk those up to some harsh life lessons I apparently needed to learn.  I thank these people who played parts in my life during those times, for me to learn these often painful lessons.

To all of those whom I failed: I deeply and sincerely apologize.  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You! for allowing me to fail and consequently learning what I needed to learn to become who I Am today.

To my college friend Sheryl the "older sister" I needed but didn't realize I needed so desperately at that time: Thank You for your extraordinary trust in me, all of your guidance - most of which I failed to heed, the wisdom of your living example, and your many unsolicited compliments.  You tried your very best to help me realize I had so much more to be thankful and grateful for, and that I was far more capable and deserving of a better life than I ever realized.  What stands out is in one very brief, overwhelmingly compassionate moment you sincerely and sympathetically compared me in such a positive light to your best friend and soulmate and husband.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!


For my emotional  intelligence I must again primarily thank my mom for her deep, empathic, unconditionally loving nature, without whom I wouldn't be nearly the emotional intuitive human being that I Am today.  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

I also thank my sister for showing me that no matter how bad things become, always strive find something to be happy about.  Smile into the face of adversity.  It took me a long time to see that sis but eventually I learned...  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

And to my university classmate, Kevin, though we were never close friends- I thank you for the words of wisdom you reminded me of on one particularly difficult day was having, "Just Be Kind."  At the time I understood clearly what you were saying, but I was so heavily laden-overburdened with my own emotional/mental loads that didn't embody or heed your advice very well, but since then those words have come in quite handy.
Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

 And of course to my wife, Edna, we have much to be grateful and thankful for in my mom and sister - in so many ways I Am who I Am because of them and all they have taught me (through life lessons and by example) over the years.  So, to you my wife, I Am grateful and thankful for all of your loving kindness and patience with me as I've struggled through a difficult life passage these past four years.  You mean so much more to me than you realize.
Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

For my intelligent, curious mind; I must first thank my father for his great depth and breadth of knowledge which came from his innate and insatiable inquisitiveness.  Always asking questions and seeking answers - thanks dad, RIP.
Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

Also, crucial to my intellectual development are all of the classroom teachers, instructors, fellow students, and professors whom I've had the benefit of their many discourses and lessons.  And of course I must remember to thank the many brilliant writers (authors, journalists, playwrights, composers, artists etc.) who came before me, especially Richard Bach for opening my mind and spirit with "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" at the age of 10- yes, such a young age, and Maxfield Parrish for all of your imaginative visions I've so enjoyed all my life.
Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

To my dear friend Nolan, thank you for the gift of your friendship, for all the many insights you've provided me over the years, and for the time and space to reinvent my life here and now in eastern Pennsylvania.
Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!


And finally, I am thankful and grateful simply to be alive and be myself, and to have inherited some of my father's inquisitive nature and intelligence combined with my mother's compassion, empathy, and intuition.  For me, like my father before me, intelligence through truly learning is a self-motivated, lifelong endeavor; and also like my mother, being empathic, humane, and intuitive leads to genuine compassion, and through life experience the ability to give healthy, unconditional love.

So in summary, I Am always a student being, learning, loving, and growing until my final breath.

So in conclusion, I know for myself that everyone I meet is both a teacher and a student wherein IQ and EQ are only two parts of the many facets of Being, sharing, and teaching.


15 April 2012

#4: Yes, it's that season again... Taxes!! 8^/

Here in the U.S. it's that time again, Taxes need to be filed... once I've completed this task I will be blogging (my thoughts, feelings, and ideas for improvement) about this touchy subject.

"Mission Accomplished" quoting arguably the worst US President ever.  I finished my taxes on time and made it to the post office before they closed, at their regular time.  Whoo Hooo!  Definitely a "beer-o'clock" moment if there ever was one!  LOL

Years ago, when I had a substantial-comfortable income from my corporate job at American Express/IBM-GS, I always had my taxes filed early - usually by the end of February, and I had a very helpful tax accountant who made the process relatively painless and stress-free (thank you sis for introducing me!)

And now, for the past eight years, I find myself begrudgingly "getting It done" at the last possible minute.  I will often start the process weeks, sometimes a whole month or more early (like this year) but the fact is that "the deal isn't sealed until the paperwork filed".  And yet again I mailed everything on the last possible day, within the last few possible hours and without having to file an extension.  Yeah!

So how do we improve such a complex mess.  Tax everyone ten percent, an across the board tax for all gross income for all people, and no deductions whatsoever.  This might seem harsh to some of the most financially strapped among us, but it would be fair for nearly everyone, from the poorest to the richest.  And as for corporations (sorry Romney they're not really people - they are composed of people, but they're really not people).  Charge corporations fifteen percent.  Period.  Sounds pretty fair to me, except for the only downside being that a lot of accountants and economists might have to find some other kind of work.

Anyway, the original point of this post is that this painful sense of grief, and all too noticeable STRESS I felt throughout my body earlier this week.  As I struggled to complete my taxes before the deadline due to this annual, spring-time ritual; the bodily sensations very clearly reminded me of the time I initially returned from my solo European backpacking adventure of 1985-86.

So, despite some initially bad tax advise I received last week, and the last minute reworking of my taxes, on tax-day, in order to correct the serious mistake on my returns that the bad advise had me make; all is well that ends well and I'm due for some modest refunds.  It may not seem like it on the outside, but on the inside I'm doing the Snoopy dance!  I don't owe anymore $$, and I'm getting a little bit back.  And especially when one is between gainful (well paying) gigs, every little bit counts!

So, once again getting back to my return flight from Europe in early February of 1986 - when I first stepped off the TWA plane onto the jet bridge in St. Louis and took my first few deep breaths of "American air" - I instantly felt throughout my body a major jump in my blood pressure.  Then, I immediately noticed my heart had skipped a few beats, and then I felt a speedy intensity of pounding in my chest, returning in full force.  All in all, it was an experience of internal stress I hadn't felt in months while traveling across Europe.

Instantly I recognized that it was the "busy, busy, rush, rush, rush, gotta get it done, now, Now, NOW!" feeling that hit me the very moment I was back on the ground in the United States of America.  Don't get wrong, sure I love my country, and yet I feel we Americans have forgotten some of the most basic and vitally important elements of being human.  To be human has nothing to do with Doing and everything about just Being.

And yet despite the struggles and challenges I faced, mostly alone, in and around Great Britain and across "the Continent", the deep sense of center - a somewhat calm - relatively peaceful knowing that "everything is going to work out for the very best feeling" I had initially discovered in London, and then cultivated throughout my travels quite instantly dissipated.

So finally, on that fateful day in early February 1986 I clearly realized that I was back in the rat race, and when you're merely a field mouse living in a country of most rats racing madly about the labyrinth of life, usually taking instead of sharing, It Is A Very Scary Thing indeed.  And yet I've endured long enough to witness the coming "Shift" of 2012.  And for that too, in addition to the successful completion of my federal and state taxes this week, I Am grateful to have been so well guided to this time and place.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

26 March 2012

#3: Searching for a place to belong.

In a recent conversation with some friends at a weekly discussion group, the conversation primarily centered around the concept of belonging.  Finding a place, a community, a group of people wherein one belongs.  What no one else in the group realized is that finding such a place and group of people has been a lifelong pursuit of mine.  Periodically I have found groups to join and yet inevitably I depart, usually due to schedule changes at work, or my employment taking me to completely new locales.  So, every group I've ever been a part of has only been a temporary zone of comfort, a brief respite in a never ending search for "my spiritual home".  So, this particular discussion on a recent Thursday evening struck a deep cord within me.

Other aspects of the conversation that evening, and other conversations with the same group have sparked some recent self-realizations that I still remain mostly an outsider, unfamiliar with many of the past group members and still somewhat lost in this new area wherein I'm currently living. With albeit a strong connection to this established group, yet by virtue of being a late addition, I Am and continue to be a bit further out towards the rim, nowhere near the center hub of this group.

This is a position I gratefully accept, since for now this is where I Am, and for now I Am happy to be a part of this group.  Yes, change will inevitably come on it's own accord, and one day I too will depart from the group - say goodbye.  This is not a moment to fear, loathe, desire, or love; but rather it's a moment that is simply destined to be.  My life has been and continues to be a long series of such liaisons.  Most of my friends and the groups I've been a part of pass through my life with only the smallest handful remaining steadfast, with a near continuous connection.

This small handful of friends, and some family members, have witnessed my heights and depths - my successes and my struggles, and through it all they've typically remained better friends to me than I have at times felt I deserved.  I now thank them all with the utmost gratefulness for being a part of the story that is my life.  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

So, despite all the "higher" education I've completed thus far, my many moments of career success and failure, as well as a small but hearty handful of travels - both domestic and global; I still find myself feeling like I'm on the outside looking in wherever I Am.  But then I know that deep down inside how I feel is a direct reflection of my own insecurities based upon my self-perception which is derived from my personal history from which I cannot escape, but rather learn the lessons I've been presented with and love myself regardless of the outcomes to the various challenges life has dealt me.

So, in the last decade of my life I've finally grokked something the character Buckaroo Bonsai said in one of my cult film favorites from so very long ago, "Wherever you go, there you are!"

In conclusion, I reference my previous post by relating it to the present.  It has been many years since I was a much younger man attending Scottsdale Community College when I had no "Spiritual Family" to speak of, and I was in a place in life that looked familiar, but where I felt so completely alien and totally alone.  Before and since that time I've had a great many "dark nights of the soul", a life full of agonies sharply contrasting some all too brief moments of ecstasy.  It's been said that, "home is where the heart is" and sometimes for me there was no home per se because at that time my heart was mostly closed due to inclement weather, a long, intense, nearly continuous series of storms that eventually subsided.  However, like all things, storms come upon us but now I realize that eventually they must blow over.  So, I've concluded that these few things are what I have to remember:  seekers must eventually find their object(s) of desire - upon the wheel of life we all spin, rising and falling - change is the only constant we can count on - and any life fully lived eventually loves with fulfilling depth sans compare,
-Thank You Edna; my dear, sweet, beautiful wife!

12 February 2012

#2: That Was Then... Autumn, 1989.

Back in the Autumn of 1989, when I was attending Scottsdale Community College, that particular semester I took a sociology course wherein I had an "opinion paper" writing assignment with the required topic of Religious Affiliation.  This paper details reasonably well how I thought and felt about my life at the time and my place in this world.

I Believe In 'God' But Not Religion


 Chad Schloss

 Instructor:  Susan St. John

Scottsdale Community College - Sociology 101; Autumn, 1989


I believe in a Supreme Power, Holy Spirit; or if I may borrow from George Lucas, an all permeating "Force."  However, don't expect to often find me in a church on Sunday morning, since chances are that I'll be elsewhere; probably in bed, asleep.

Organized religious institutions are based upon human interpretations of matters that often defy simple, ordinary explanations.  This is not to say religion is bad, au contraire.  Besides maintaining many cultural, ideological, and philosophical traditions; if one closely studies religious documentation with an open mind, realistically interpreting the passages therein, it becomes apparent that humanity has a violent past(1); not only that, but on the whole we over emphasize the differences and altogether fail to recognize the many beliefs we have in common.

The most common differences of opinion seem to lie with the various charismatic leaders themselves and although, for the most part, they usually say many of the same things, it’s accomplished through allegory, poems, psalms, and stories, presented in different ways to reach the particular cultural group(s) they happen to lead.  If one were to place most, if not all of the greatest spiritual leaders of all time into one room for round table discussions, chances are that they would each in turn speak, listen, comprehend, understand, and probably agree with one another on a great many ideals.  So ultimately the leaders themselves, I feel, are not at fault for the many wars that have raged in the name of “God”, but it is with the over zealous followers of various leaders who are either unwilling or unable to accept any other opinion as a possible pathway to the Source of All Being.

Among the most common beliefs in most of the world’s major religions is in that of a Supreme Power, Entity, or Entities, or a Supernatural Force-like Spirit.  Most often this Supreme Being is of divine light, and goodness in opposition to a lesser power of darkness and in some cases interpreted as pure evil.  But there are those of us who believe that darkness and light are the flip sides of the same coin, and that the only difference is in the choices we all make every moment of our existence (we all includes all non-physical entities as well).

Each individual needs to look within themselves in order to find what rings true or right within their own souls.  Many religions have differing dietary requirements, often stemming from geographical differences that influenced the inhabitants of the various regions of Earth.  This is because certain food are available in only certain areas or because by-products of, for example, dairy cows in India are such an important food source that if people were to start slaughtering cows greater starvation would ultimately occur when all the cattle was consumed and not even the dairy products would then be available.  

Although the sight of starving Asian Indians begging on the streets of Bombay, streets where cows wander freely in abundance, may seem dysfunctional to most Westerners; but the actual survival, a function of that culture, may depend on that cattle providing future generations with milk, cheese, etc., instead of a momentary feast for a few right now.  The Jews historically have opposed the consumption of pork, albeit for their own dogmatic reasons.  I can relate to that dietary restriction since pigs often harbor tapeworms and other such parasites that can easily be transferred to humans simply by inadequate preparation (improper cooking) of the meat before it’s eaten.  And I relate to this so well because I have a severe allergy to some foods, pork is only one of them.

What seems interesting to note is that many of the major world religions, (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Judaism), all stress overwhelmingly that a diet mainly, but not exclusively, based on fresh fruits and vegetables is the most healthy diet for humans.  Amazingly enough is that these various religions; often in opposition to one another; agree on such a “trivial point” as diet, but in recent years science has come to similar conclusions, and yet, for some carnivorous reason we humans more often than not consume many times more protein than we need, but only if it is available of course.

Only eight percent of the American population maintains an undeclared religious affiliation, and I am part of that eight percent, and yet ninety-four percent of the U.S. population believes in God (2).  So from those statistics it appears that two percent of the population believes in God, but doesn’t maintain ongoing religious participation.  I’m apparently in that two percent. 

America is a lonely place without an Active Religious Social Network (A.R.S.N.) to draw upon, and I must admit that a close family, (father, mother, sister), and school friends can help to replace the feeling of not belonging, but when much of the family is so divided as mine; a “Jack Mormon” father who left the family religion to dabble in Hedonism, Buddhism, Spiritualism, and Wicca (that’s all I know of); my mother and sister, Baptist; and mom’s family, a combination of agnostic, atheist, fundamentalist Christian, Lutheran, and Seventh-Day-Adventist; and dad’s family, devout Mormon; it’s no wonder that I grew up feeling just a little confused.

It is difficult to tell whether religion defines culture, or if culture is defined by religion or possibly geography, or if all of these influences, as well as others not mentioned, interact en mass towards the evolution of both culture and religion together, inseparably intertwined as, like the serpents of caduceus.

So what are some of the disadvantages to being unaffiliated, religiously?  First and foremost are the feelings of social alienation and isolation.  Most everyone in the U.S. has some kind of affiliation, as per the preceding statistics, though I doubt that most of those people are religious participants.  Yet, they can and apparently do identify with some religious background.  I unabashedly don’t conform to this social norm.  At one time I hid my lack of faith in religion by going through the motions of believing in my mother’s faith, but in time I realized that I believe in “God” but not in any one particular creed, dogma, doctrine, ideal, or truth.  I have a bumper sticker that states, “My Karma Just Ran Over Your Dogma.”  No one truth is the answer to all things or should be the complete and total focus of one’s attention, since one could become blinded from the forest through the trees.  So in a sense I don’t belong to any religion yet I accept all grains of truth (that work for me) no matter where they are found, bit it in a holy writ, a panoramic landscape, or radiating from the innocent eyes of a child.  No one religion holds all of the answer for me, but all have something valuable to teach me.  So with none yet all I do and don’t belong. 

Overall it’s an overwhelming sense of just not completely and totally belonging anywhere, with anyone.  Other disadvantages to non-affiliation is that I’m without an A.R.S.N. (Active Religious Social Network) and that is tough to deal with since an untold number of career possibilities, romantic possibilities, friendships, etc., have probably been lost simply because I’m so very aloof, friendly, but distant and terribly lonely much of the time.  Yet, I find some of the advantages most rewarding…

So what are some of the advantages to being unaffiliated, religiously?  First of all I have an open mind to many diverse possibilities and that opens the doors to meet and become involved with many interesting, unusual, eclectic people.  Having widely experienced, read, and researched on a great many subjects, and having traveled to quite a few places, I’m able to communicate with a very broad number of people and rather easily understand their differing points of view.  Second, I’m able to, in their own vocabulary, express many other points of view available (3); thus helping to expand the narrow mindedness that often pervades individuals of strong religious faith.  Thirdly, I’m able to bring a unique and at times controversial point of view into most conversations that make for many intriguing and intense acquaintances that sometimes turn into friendships, although often these relations are somewhat short-lived.  However, the creative potential for these alliances are phenomenal.  Much of my personal artistic, expository, musical, and poetic expressions are a direct result of experiences and inspirations these people have guided me towards.

In recent years, since returning to college full-time, I’ve spent very little time actively seeking a spiritual family.  If anything I’ve ignored the whole confusing mess in the hope that I could survive without such dependencies.  I’m surviving, but not living.  Yet, to again actively seek spiritual companionship is not all that realistic whilst I attend college and have to support myself at the same time.  So, although this assignment has forced me to look at my lack of affiliation as a deficiency in some respects; i.e. loneliness, and loss of opportunities in the areas of career, friendship and romance; I’ve found that, for the most part, I’m quite self-sufficient, and I feel stronger for the knowing that I’m not relationship co-dependent.  For this assignment we’ll ignore my chocolate and caffeine addictions, okay?


(1)   The “Holy Bible” is filled with stories of bloody sacrifices, wars, and all often graphic depictions of “mankind’s” and God’s inhumanity to all life forms especially including humanity.  Also, the “BHAGAVAD-GITA, As It Is; the holy book of the Hindus, nothing more than the discourse Lord Krishna and Arjuna had as they prepared for, and made their way to a “great battle (war)” [if you can call mass murder great]; between royal cousins, the sons of Dhrtarastra and Pandu.  The Koran is the holy book of Islam, it almost militantly endorses the complete subjugation of all females, about half of humanity.  Finally more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason, e.g., The Crusades (historically), Ireland (today [1989], the Middle East continuously, etc.

(2)   SOURCE:  Gallup Report, no. 259, April 1987

(3)   I was once told by a Baptist Youth Minister, (paraphrased):  “Everybody is entitled to an opinion, and it is a blessed moment when two people can agree on any one thing, but more often than not when two Baptists gather, instead of just two opinions being expressed, three or more are often the result.”

27 January 2012

#1: A little bit more about me...

Today is my birthday.
Happy Birthday to me! 8^)
I'm 49 years young, and in fairly good health.
My diet could stand some improvement, and it is gradually improving once again.
And my life could do with a few upgrades since I'm not exactly where I'd like to be just yet.
And the point of this blog is to share a bit of myself with the world, thoughts, feelings, opinions, ideas, pictures, stories, and more.

"Who Am I?  What Do I Want? Where Am I Going?"  from Babylon 5 by J. Michael Straczynski

The answer to that from Theosophist/Spiritualist/Guru within in me states the mantra,

"I Am That I Am!  I Am One With All That Is.  I Am My Own Guru/Master."  Now, I know that there is no separation, beyond the limited perception of 'normal' human consciousness.  Through a lifetime of experiences I've come to believe that ultimately, everything and everyone is always connected.  We are all One.  So why is it that I so often forget these basic truths and sometimes doubt them altogether?  It must be part and parcel of my life-lessons, my learning process for this lifetime.

And all the answers still locked inside of the frightened eight year old child within me are just beginning to become clear.  This child, who has yet to develop his fine voice and clearly tell me what he needs, what he knows, and all he remembers has begun a process of revelation.  In turn, although I sometimes ignore his fears and push through with struggle and strife through the roadblocks on the path that has built my life.  I sometimes still my mind, waiting and listening for his opinion to chime in, and occasionally he surprises me.

This blog will include current musings as well as select writings from my past, finally revealed, now that the time has come to share them.

Thank you for joining me in this shared reality.  ~Chad~