We all suffer in the journey of life. The rich and the poor suffer. The rich may think that they suffer less, but what are they rich in? If they are well-to-do with lots of money but are short on real compassion, insight, and wisdom, are they truly rich? Most of us were miseducated on what true richness in life entails; then we go through life bereft of the real treasures, empty of real substance.
Animals (other than our own species) also suffer. Many are currently suffering because of the overindulgence of man… too much cement, too much pollution, too much loss of habitat. There is also the competition in nature between the many animals; many have to struggle among themselves for survival. It’s a tough world out there.
When one looks with barriers, through psychological walls of separation (as one has been mistaught to), then one doesn’t do much about the suffering. Ironically, these very walls (i.e., psychological walls) tend to enclose and greatly contribute to one’s own so-called personal suffering.
True intelligence not only helps much suffering to end in the exterior world — via compassion and action (because “others” aren’t so separate any longer) — but also transcends suffering internally (or psychologically, so to speak). When a mind goes beyond crude ways of perceiving, then a totally different dimension may take place (that is — to a large degree — beyond the friction and pain of regular life). A mind that consists of reaction after reaction is bound to suffer; a mind that does not always react like a programmed robot may transcend much suffering.
[Note: I despise politics, but these are critical, precarious times when one must get somewhat “political.” The current diabolical U.S. administration is endorsing coal and fossil fuels and is deregulating and dismantling environmental mandates/regulations, not to mention destroying democracy and free-voting. Each year there are fewer butterflies, fewer bees, fewer lightning bugs, fewer of myriad types of wildlife creatures… not to mention fewer healthy people.
The cover of a recent Sierra Club environmental magazine stated: “Vote like the Planet depends on it (because it does).”]
Ambrose Bierce defined “decide” as ‘to succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another.’ But let’s inquire further. What is it that is doing the “succumbing”? It may actually be — which many people will not care to face — that conditioned reactions help to constitute what one set of influences does over another… and that the knee-jerk concept of “I” or “me” is basically a conditioned protrusion of thought that occurs later (as it falsely appears to take the credit for “deciding”). Additionally, it may be that the conception of “I” or “me,” before any apparent “deciding” takes place, is also merely a learned social projection (of thinking) that is (essentially) unnecessary. Transcending this illusory “center” — that never truly was a center in the first place — takes the intelligence of wisdom. (Such wisdom is of an eternity beyond the falsity of a learned center.)
Are we merely at the mercy of inevitable conditioned responses that render us to be merely rather robotic and computer-like in nature? We say, “Not necessarily.” The (healthy and wise) mind can look holistically, in a manner that is more in-tune with the whole and not merely immersed in (and “as”) fragmentary parts and conditioned robotic reactions. However, there is no “green flag” that pops up in the mind, revealing that one is looking holistically. One cannot “know” that holistic mindfulness is happening. In truth, this may tie into the fact that holistic insight (as profound understanding) is beyond the field of the known.
Real compassion — not the phony kind set up for everyone to see — relies very little on the “I” or the “me.” The poor bloke who is in love with himself (i.e., in love with his “I” and “me”) cares little, for the most part, for others. The real jewel in life may not be what you were taught; it may not be what is construed as being your special center. There is, psychologically, no special center. Thank goodness!
Note: (I’ve dropped out of blogging for a while because i’ve been very busy with other projects. I may — or may not — be doing much blogging in the future; it depends upon my time and some other factors. For those who are truly “inquiring” in all of this, what i have written is always there — and elsewhere — if you know how to look. Regarding the blogging, posting close-up nature pictures has always been a small part of my offerings, although the main focus has always been the philosophy. Followers who have primarily focused on the pictures have really missed the whole point; it’s like focusing on the tie that a good philosopher is wearing, rather than actually listening to what he has to say… which is sad in regard to the picture — or mere tie — lover. That being said, the number of insect species and other small species disappearing in the environment is alarming, to say the least. It breaks my heart to go picture-taking and seeing fewer wildlife species each year, and it is not just in our area; it is all over. Additionally, so many millions of people, such as in America, succumbing to heartless political propaganda — that includes indifference to the health of the environment — is equally cataclysmic… and, of course, the two situations are closely related.)
So many of us have assumed that we are fully living. However, a person who has been through true satori (i.e., true visitation from that eternal, sacred energy) realizes that people are only “alive” and “living” to a very limited, fragmentary extent. Such so-called “living” is only a rather seed-like state that has never really blossomed whatsoever. To truly change fundamentally, the instrument that is looking is perceiving beyond distortion. That instrument is the mind (and perception of the mind is not separate from what the mind is). Before one starts “cleaning” the mind into what one thinks it “should be” one must realize that there is no separate “cleaner” or “changer” and that time is not a necessary factor. And the “should be” is a projection of the mind that may help create illusions of separation, such as (psychologically) the so-called separation between the “changer” and the “changed.” Thought takes time; thought is psychological time and is separative and fragmentary. A vast, whole, timeless intelligence does exist.