When we were very young, during our education — or, rather, miseducation — a lot of us sagaciously felt or understood that there was something wrong or lacking in what the adults were telling us. But, over time, most all of us accepted what they maintained and we fell into place as we were expected to.
They taught us to look via separation, to look at separate things (largely disconnected). They taught us that running away and trying to escape from aloneness was the norm and that that is the way we should react. They didn’t encourage us to perceive everything holistically (i.e., without mere separation and division). They didn’t reveal to us that, in aloneness, may exist true stillness, a stillness that is miraculously dynamic, timeless, spiritual, and precious. They didn’t encourage us to investigate about and be very appreciative of that stillness which is not merely a part of a mechanistic, mundane, run-of-the-mill life cycle. (By the way, it is good to socialize at times, but it is also extraordinarily important to be alone often, allowing for a deeper penetration into the beauty of unadulterated stillness.) They didn’t encourage us to look beyond the confined limitations and fragmentation of symbolic thought and thinking… (and all thoughts and thinking are limited symbols and are of fragmentation); all thoughts are sequential, abstract, and, hence, are very computer-like and rather virtual. They taught us to exclusively depend upon thought/thinking.
It is good to have hobbies. I have some. But too many of us, as adults, are caught in endlessly trying to escape from our “aloneness” by pursuing endless entertainments and places to visit. (Like the perpetual donkey going after the carrot tied to a stick, so many of us travel, travel, chase, chase, and yet continue — no matter where we go — to carry an overriding staleness, mundaneness, and melancholia.) Without facing and understanding aloneness and the mind, a feeling of lack and mediocrity will endlessly follow you wherever you go, like a shadow. One must face that aloneness and, without effort, allow it to blossom into something priceless and dynamic, beyond mere measure. Then the real miracles can happen. But if we merely perpetually escape from that aloneness — as society conditioned us to — then we will forever remain frequently unfulfilled, mediocre, defeated, and ordinary.
(Additionally, please listen to the very short song, entitled “Just Trying to Be,” included in this posting.)
And with so many adults in sync, and so many adults that feel compelled to tell you what to do, it is important to let your kids in on the game early. That these are the rules we play by for now, but when you are older you can make up your own rules. That people are doing what they do because it’s all they know, but they don’t really know anything at all.
I had a late child (people tend to think I’m her grandpa) and I let her know this. She is ten now, and when some adult is telling her what to do without the why, she’ll look at me and just smile—and roll with it…for now. They take it sooo seriously, her grandma in particular (she lives with us)
Alone time is where we see the game for what it is; it also is where all of the great mystics, from Crazy Horse to Bagavan, Buddha and Jesus achieved their enlightened status. Now that right of passage is called psychotherapy, where we attempt to undo what has been done to us by well meaning idiots.
Jim, i am so glad that you already see alone time for what it is and perceive that alone time is where (even though it has nothing to do with true “place”) a lot of the true mystics like spent timelessness in (and “as”). 10 years old… wow… what an age to be in (“as”)! Enlightenment isn’t an achievement, but it is what may happen if one is fortunate enough to be perceptive and open. Make sure, please, to help her to become familiar with the magical poets, like Whitman, Cummings, Eliot, Dickinson, Crane, and Stevens. She is very lucky to have you as a father. 😊
She is a very grounded individual. She knows things are labels that are not really what things are. She sees birds and other animals as an integral part of the whole organism in a way I wish I’d been allowed. She already has glimpses of non ordinary realities. She asked me the other day if it was safe to go a little further. She also asked me if her body was still there (I was on the porch with her) when she was gone. Hahah. It was awesome!
I told her I didn’t have any advice for her, but yes, your body was still here.
I get the feeling the illusion is just barely skin deep. If your not trained in the colonial ways of observation, and there’s no beliefs to undue, it’s quite easy for a kid.
It is great, Jim, that she seems very grounded. I would tell her to be very careful and cautious about going further via any kind of supposed will. It is not a thing involving will and effort. If effort or inner desire — for things to happen — is involved, it readily brings in the possibility of self-deception and self-projections; then seemingly wonderful things can appear to happen, but they turn out to be mere self-delusions or self-fabrications. There is no way to truly make the truly miraculous things happen or way to rush things. The miracles will pursue a clear, lucid mind… not the other way around. It’s great to be curious and to investigate — with a youthful mind — but there has to be a balance, where one is not always merely groping to absorb and understand things. We must not turn into understandaholics, in other words. (On the other hand, most people are primarily knowaholics.) 😊
“It is not a thing involving will and effort”. There is no effort on her part. Without a fixed and measured reality, her mind is already clear and has no preconceptions. I’ve discussed it with her but never teach or taught her anything about it. I’ve shared ideas under the premise that this is how some people view life.
I somewhat agree with you here, but also would think this sounds a little off to the beginners mind. She has no expectations of anything. No preconceived notions. How can she rush things if she is going her own pace?
She’s not focused on these things and lives very active and is happy. But to her this transformation is easy. Who says it needs to be hard but those seeking it out? Getting a guru and trying is the hardest way. Doing is in the natural order of how our bodies function. Is living something you DO, or does it do you?
I certainly will see where this goes. One thing is in order, and that is in our relationship she is comfortable discussing anything and everything. I never lie to her or deceive her in any way, which is the custom here in the west.
Hi Tom, i understand your view on applying no effort. for a beginner, however, the mind definitely has to be directed towards the discipline of meditation, or whatever the spiritual practice one takes up. if inner silence was to come naturally, all people would be naturally enlightened, or liberated, or wise, whatever. obviously, people are not. people’s mind are a “wagon load of monkeys”. so, the mind has to be directed, like a ‘bow and its arrow’ (how it’s described in the Gita) towards the goal.
with time, the mind naturally falls into that space which is its home. only then can we begin to take of ‘effortless practice’ and miracles can occur. things can only happen ‘naturally’ when you already are in a natural state.
remember Bodhitsattva who cut his eyelids in order not to fall asleep, or Milarepa who sat in his cave for months at a time because he was so devoted to attaining liberation, the Buddha almost starved himself. the greatest masters applying almost super-human will to achieve their goal. there are those rare cases for whom things happen spontaneously, but they are very rare.
Well, Jim, that is reassuring stuff to read. I was just concerned, due to her asking if her body was still there or not. That sounds a bit like it may be oriented from a self-hypnotic state; a lot of people go into what they call meditation, but it is essentially a form of self-hypnosis. I am not saying that that is the case regarding your daughter, just that it may perhaps be; so please be cautious. I would emphasize awareness, with someone like your daughter (and compassion); no doubt you are doing such things already. I sure hope that she flowers into a truly dynamic, perceptive, and spiritual person. She, from what you say, sounds special. ☺
Boss! i love seeing names of people i know on other blogs. makes me feel so… wordly!
Haha. Tom, worldly? I’ve followed him a few years now. Sorry if you feel I’ve cheated on you.
just make sure you stay safe. jumping from blog to blog can be dangerous these days😂
I never even heard of the word holistic until mid -life (35 or so)… we need both and don’t we? To be with people, yes, but also to cultivate alone time. Great Post. I love how you love bugs! You make me appreciate each one!
Thanks, Sara! When i was 5 years old, they’d say, “Where is Tom?” They would say, “Well, he’s out there chasing bugs.” I’m 70 now and am still chasing bugs. 😉
When I was five and they asked where I was if anyone did – the answer would be” in the forest down by the brook!” Nothing new here either but look what we do with what we love…. – and I do love your bugs – they remind me of my little brother who loved them mightily and taught me…. after I lost him I left bugs behind – surely not fair to them…. I study each detail of your photos carefully – they are beautiful… and I am moved from within
Sara, insects have their own beautiful, little world in our macrocosm.
Ants work and share a social network too, but they don’t pollute the earth and let fossil fuels spew out into the ocean.
Though I’ve had a lot of them over the years, I’m still not at all sure what a thought is. I rather enjoy one now and then, but I also love an empty head which is indeed the source of a sense of ineffable timelessness.
Well, you just don’t “have” thoughts… you “are” thoughts.
True emptiness is a stillness that is a true treasure; it exists beyond superficial symbols, beliefs, opinions, motives, directions, and prejudices. 😎
Agree … alone time is essential on many levels. I am blessed with a husband who takes us out into nature for weeks at a time … a good bit of that time each of us alone. My kind of travel. Returning tomorrow to community … that too serves us.
Community and aloneness can be in a beautiful balance. Too many are terrified of being alone. 😉
yes, when we are always engaged with others and being busy with this or that, there is no space for us to truly know ourself. pure being arises in precious moments of solitude, of quiet mind, of undisturbed attention. then we create an opening for the ‘soul’ to make itself known.
here’s a teeny weeny poem about that
the world speaks to me
not in words or sounds
but in silences profound.
I like that poem, monicat! Silence is an open door beyond group mentality and multitudinous noise. 😎
Thank you, Tom😊
Tom, this makes sense – “…allowing for a deeper penetration into the beauty of unadulterated stillness.” We are indeed consumers of weighed-down stuff, and we hold on to them like precious jewels. 💎 We’ve been so conditioned to believe that we need stuff, stuff, and more stuff that it’s difficult to break the habit and reverse that manmade conditioning. 🥵
I agree with you that we must face that aloneness, and allow it to blossom into something priceless healthy, and dynamic beyond measure. 🙏🏼 I enjoyed your message, but I cringed at that mosquito though! 😖 EEK!
Kym, that is no mosquito. It is not something to go “EEK” over! Tee-hee…
It’s a harmless, cool, friendly, little Hover Fly. Hover Flies can’t sting, they don’t suck blood, and they are totally harmless. They like to get the nectar out of pretty flowers, and there is nothing terrible about that. 😊
So glad that you see the value of real aloneness and are appreciative of the possible implications regarding being alone. Most people are terribly frightened of being alone, even more frightened than when they see mosquitoes. 👀
LMBO! No mosquito? 😝 😜 🤪 Well you sir are the expert on that. All I know is when I hear that all too familiar buzzing around my ears in the late afternoon, it ain’t no Hover Fly, and these jokers BITE the shit out of you! 😖
I seriously appreciate your position on making us reflect on aloneness and the value of it. We can be like that EverReady Bunny, 🐰 we just keep going on, and on, and on. Eventually that battery will run down and at that point, you will be forced to stop! 🛑 Enjoy your evening my friend!
Thanks, Kym. You have a wonderful evening too! 😊
Take more B vitamins; they tend to keep mosquitoes away.🦟
It’s good to be able to be alone and I embrace it, as you know. I’m happy to keep the world and its people at bay and have my own time to think, reflect or just absorb nature around me. As the expression goes “sometimes it’s just too ‘peoplely’ out there.” I hope the mosquito didn’t politely pose in exchange for some blood? That’s a great up-close photo Tom.
Yes, Linda, i am well aware that you embrace aloneness with no problem, and that you have no problem with keeping people at bay. It’s great to be independent and not to be someone who merely depends.
Today marks one full year since Marla’s passing, and i still miss her immensely. People have said that we two were like one, so much so that it was rather magical. (That was so nice to hear.) There are a lot of “messed up in the head” people out there; it’s scary really. So now, i am content with mostly staying at home and taking care of all of my critters. (They’re not really “mine,” they are their own cool, respected individuals.)
Thanks about the photo, Linda. But, like Kym, you seem to be misidentifying it as a mosquito. That’s a bit like calling a butterfly a wasp! Tee-hee! 😀 It is actually an innocent Hover Fly. Hover Flies do not suck blood. They suck the nectar out of flowers much like butterflies do. (They sometimes land on people to lap up some of the sweat.) They are innocent and friendly, and i love the way that they hover in mid-air, perfectly. 😅