True and profound insight is like a rare jewel that very few ever partake in within (and “as”) life. Profound insight is not what someone can merely — through effort — acquire or obtain. Insight is not like a materialistic possession; one cannot merely “have it”; one cannot merely decide to “get it.” It would be erroneous, for example, to say that “I have an insight.” Profound insight, besides not merely being what one can possess… is beyond the limitation of a fragmented, so-called central “I” or controller. The so-called central regulatory agent may think it has something… but what it has will not likely be profound insight. Real insight may come when the mind is intelligently empty (and not merely filled with the crass, fragmentary patterns of others).
Unfortunately, profound insight eludes most minds. The fact that most minds operate via fractional conflict, a fallacious (isolated) center, and operate via mostly mere details and function (with and “as”) separative patterns, has a lot to do with this. Correct education can help us to go beyond our limited ways. Before that can happen, educators themselves must change positively.
No doubt, most people who read this blog posting will merely reduce insight into an abstraction, to another idea. However, doing so is like never having the passion to really look at nature; it’s like going through life with an empty heart… never really feeling.
Great post, I was looking for something that might indicate suffering can lead to insight, but unable to find anything here. This subject we have discussed in the past, the point when the mind is intelligently empty can arise when there’s physical pain or something occurs experientially that never happens in controlled environments where most ordinary folks spend a lifetime.
The top photo is remarkable! geese swimming slowly into darkness.
Thank you, t! 🙂
I know you’ve had a lot of issues with suffering due to head pain. As far as suffering goes, psychological suffering does not lead to insight. Depression and melancholiness due to losing what one wants, not having what one wants, or just sad boredom or some such thing, is indicative that the mind has issues (most of which are self-created), and that, of course, isn’t very conducive to great insight. Physical pain is another matter. It depends on the way it is perceived. Personally, i feel that we all suffer… that suffering is universal (i.e., we all share in it) and it is part of all of us. Actual physical pain can help one to have more empathy for others in pain. We all suffer; suffering is truly universal. However, physical pain, per se, doesn’t have any magical attributes that will launch one into deeply insightful realms. Getting more elderly, i am having more and more arthritic pain; they say that i have both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Though i take herbs (like Curcumin) for arthritis, i do not go running to take Tylenol to quickly bury the pain. Only very rarely does one take Tylenol. I’ve learned to put the pain in the background (so to speak)… or it might be better to say that it occupies a background region of awareness. So many people immediately try to avoid pain with artificial drugs (that have bad side-effects). Really severe pain is another matter.
Wisdom begins when psychological suffering completely ends.
Thanks Tom for a few moments of insight here. Your description of how you learned to put the pain in the background, or maybe that’s how it was found to be, and it’s always there, I suppose. This is familiar to me and I never thought of it like this. So I’m grateful for that. Also something perhaps unsaid is that prolonged psychological suffering does not lead to insight – because there is still attachment to what one wants or how one wants it to be, etc. and this is the cause of suffering. Thanks for the reminder.
I’d say though, that pain has many characteristics, the trauma of physical pain itself leads to insight, during the intervals of clarity between these inexplicable and sudden attacks of pain – it did for me, when I had surgery for colonic cancer in a Bangkok hospital some 20 years ago.
Getting more elderly, is a very personal experience, I understand it more and more. We wear the label and do what others do. The proximity of death is hardly ever talked about in the West. In the East, death is an essential part of all Teachings. The realization of that reality leads to insight, of course it does…
I don’t think that we can say that one thing or factor lead to insight. True insight is too dynamic to be analyzed or categorized in such a way. As far as physical pain goes, mankind has had tons of severe pain, due (in large part) to endless, bloody wars going on for millennia. Apparently, we did not gain much insight out of that; we are still having war after war. Don’t get me wrong, however; i feel that what you went through years ago probably made you much more of a mature, serious person. Far too many are not so mature.
So many of us were programmed to look at pain so negatively. We habitually/robotically run from pain and pursue pleasure. In a big way, pain is just a friendly warning system showing that something isn’t quite right; of course, it can get far too intense to be easily seen as “friendly.” Arthritis runs in my family. My elderly relatives would often brag about their pain… often acting as if, somehow, it made them more spiritual or noble. I’ve (because of genetics and my tough physical job of lifting multiply handicapped students for decades) had arthritis for quite some time. It’s there in the background of awareness a lot; there is an art to living with it without over-identifying with it.
Yes, people don’t talk about death here. They don’t have a clue about what it entails. Dying, for me, is always part of living. One is often dying to what was mentally accumulated… and that dying is living.
From Emily Dickinson:
After great pain a formal feeling comes–
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions–was it He that bore?
And yesterday–or centuries before?
The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.
This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow–
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.
i’m going out
to look for such
a wise goose 🙂
Take a gander… 🙂
sometimes monkey feel happy for have simple brain what almost always empty & receptive. other times monkey enjoy feeling of jumping thought what bang around like popcorn in simple brain. monkey open to enjoy both state of being before someday when monkey not exist as monkey forevermore.
Enjoy both! Yes! (I like the popcorn analogy!) 🙂
One goose in light the rest in darkness, great shot
Kind of the way society is, RA! Thanks! 🙂
Your beautiful photo illustrates your words very well!
Thank you, Karen! Keep those excellent water shots coming! 🙂
Intuitive thought, insight, is a rare thing and can not be forced only gathered through openness to possibility. It would be lovely to believe one might occasionally have profound insight. But, again, when one is visited by that depth of understanding it does take courage simply to acknowledge it. One ,i think, never owns it.
Angel in the dust
Such beautiful shots!
Thank you, LF! 🙂
I wonder how you managed the photo.. It’s looks amazing…. As powerful as your words!!
Very nice post. Thanks! I really enjoyed it.
P.S: May I repost it? I’ll mention your name.