All Posts Tagged ‘learning

Plum Tree Blossoms Smiling ... Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021
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The Story of Lo Zu and the Teenage Youth Group (Another short Lo Zu Tale)…

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The elderly Lo Zu walked through a long, beautiful meadow and came near to the local village.   He saw a group of youth sitting near a fenced garden and ambled near to them while holding on to his sinuous, meandering cane.  As he walked, he smiled at the majestic, wonderous blue sky and at the beautiful trees dancing in the light breeze that he was not (in any way) apart from.  Many of the young people looked rather bored, and excitement and wonderment were missing from their eyes.  Lo Zu said to them, “When i was your age, i too sometimes would get bored; I too found myself lacking in exciting things to do.  Now, in my elderly age, there is no boredom; there is only harmony and bliss.”

“What is your secret?, one of the youth asked.

Lo Zu then said, “One went beyond what all of the others said about life, self, and consciousness.  The root of suffering was discovered and perceived.”

Some of the youth inquired, “What is the root of suffering?”

Lo Zu replied, “The ‘I,’ the ‘me,’ with all of its pretense and chicanery.  The ‘I’ or the ‘me’ helps create a space between what is considered a “center” and the rest of the world (even including between a thought of a supposed center-controller and thinking).  However, for example, thoughts and thinking are what consciousness is (as they occur), including the concept of ‘I’ or ‘myself.’  There is, though, a beautiful intelligence beyond and much greater than mere thoughts and thinking.  Such intelligence is of a wholeness and transcends the petty concepts of ‘I’ and ‘me.’  Such intelligence transcends psychological suffering/boredom, mere words as labels, and gross limitation; what is whole and immense is not dominated by what is false and limited.  Mental suffering is false and limited.  Only when one clings to the limited is the intelligence of the whole not apparent.  Look at everything beyond fragments, symbols, and images… and perhaps that intelligence will manifest.  Clinging to what the ordinary, every-day people tell you… may be like clinging to garbage.  Even clinging to ‘collected experiences’ (robotically) is childish and unnecessary.  Cling in that way if you wish, but as for this elderly being, there is too much bliss here to crave what is fundamentally of the dead past.  See the living beauty of life and nature in each instant (without merely always labeling and remembering).  Question things, be appreciative of life, perceive with wholeness, and go beyond the ordinary. “

The group of youth thanked Lo Zu and asked him to stop by to visit them again.

As he walked away, he heard one of them say, “He is not like the other elders; he is different; he seems magical.  When he looks at you, it is as if he can see right into you.”

 

Plum Tree Blossoms Smiling ... Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021
Plum Tree Blossoms Smiling … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

So nice to bee with you again! Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021
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On the State of Humanity

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When i am out in society sometimes — like grocery shopping, for instance — and see people, sometimes my eyes almost start tearing.  One just feels sorry for them.  It’s a tough life out there, and many people are really struggling, really suffering.  You, if you at all observant, can see it in their eyes.   Especially when i see children, i feel something deep inside.  They will be living in a world much more difficult to live in than the one that i lived most of my life in.  There will be many more people and less space.  There will be fewer jobs, more pollution, even more propaganda, and less truly healthy food.  The chances of them being educated rightly in a truly decent, alternative (non-mediocre) school with no more than 8 kids in a classroom and with much emphasis on wisdom, compassion, hands-on experiences (like growing vegetables outdoors, exploring nature, and making solar panels), on understanding beyond standard patterns, and on seeing life as a whole… are almost nil.   

Then one looks at the adults.  Many seem aged and “worn out” before their time.  Many show the effects of endless junk food, alcohol, and endless synthetic medications (prescribed by doctors who, these $-oriented days, are more like puppets of the pharmaceutical companies than true counselors about healthy living patterns and natural cures).   (Don’t get me wrong, many people need to be on prescription drugs… but not to the extent being dished out in this pill-happy day and age.)  Even a lot of our standard vitamins — tons of them really — these days, are largely made from synthetic products (derived from petroleum).  For instance, synthetic vitamin E does not come from a natural food source and is generally derived from petroleum products. Synthetic vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol or any variation starting with dl-) is found in many commonly-sold multivitamin supplements, such as Centrum. You can’t help but feel sorry for people when you see what is being done to them.  Fragmentation within minds abounds, which inevitably manifests as disorder, indifference, and conflict.  It’s a crazy world.  Additionally, repercussions happen, and the disorder that ensues deleteriously affects the animals of the world too.  (There are good, holistic, magnanimous people too, but there are not nearly enough of them.)

In a big way, one really can’t blame people for what they are.  They are a product of their education (or maybe we should say “miseducation”) and their environment.   Very few of us really break free, truly intelligently question everything, and stand alone beyond all of the standard, mundane conditioning.  Most people psychologically consist of their conditioning.  It is very difficult to get people to change fundamentally… not according to any blueprint or pattern, not according to some concocted religion or government, but wisely, independently, and holistically beyond all of the antiquated past.  It is sad — it’s tragic really — that so many inevitably end up falling in a rut, stagnating, and then dying.   Things could be very different but, so far, the magic isn’t happening to a very great extent.   But we could wake up and help change things.  

 

So nice to bee with you again! Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021
So nice to bee with you again! Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021
Schizophyllum commune Fungi on Tree Branch ... Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021
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Mental Clarity

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Clarity in terms of the mind. What does it mean? Have you ever pondered over it or considered it deeply and seriously? Most people have not pondered over it. The dictionary defines clarity as: ‘The quality of being coherent;’ it also defines it as: ‘The quality of purity.’ Coherency in minds, in the manner we are writing about, means order. If the mind has significant fears, prejudices, beliefs (which tend to separate and divide people), and is tied down to dead (though fully accepted) second-hand traditions, is that order? If one is at all honest… a mind harboring many of such things — as what it actually “is” — probably is not of order.

Purity (in terms of mental clarity) likely means that the mind is not heavily conditioned, that the mind has not been deeply molded and contaminated by others. It means that the mind can look in a pristine way, beyond what was spoon-fed into it. Pretty much all of us were spoon-fed (mentally) from the day we were born. And most of us fully accept what was poured into us, because it is so very easy to do so. Most like the easy way, the run-of-the-mill way. It is so easy to fit in and to do as everyone else does and to think as everyone else does. It is so very comfortable. We love to imitate; “everyone else is doing it; it must (therefore) be safe and right.” But is it?

Here it is being suggested that a lot of what they pumped into us may be very fundamentally wrong and highly erroneous. Even the very fundamental nature of time that they gave us may be very wrong and largely fallacious. The very nature of our relationship — that they spoon-fed into us — involving thoughts and involving each other… may be very fallacious and not of real and true order. So what is one to do? A disorderly mind, seeking order, will usually find (and discover) according to that disorder. Non-clarity (i.e., non-coherency) cannot easily perceive clarity and order. (Innumerable minds of disorder often cling to primitive, fragmentary traditions of disorder, ardently claiming they are of order; then the endless wars and conflicts between groups of opposing people — with their separate ideologies — continue and go on and on.)

Real clarity may mean standing alone beyond all of the contamination. It may mean that one — without depending upon others — has to work diligently to see (for oneself) what is actually taking place. It likely involves seeing beyond what was poured into you; it likely involves asking the right questions (that are serious and of great meaning to life, wholeness, and dignity). It likely involves seeing beyond all of the second-hand patterns and endless words, labels, and feelings of individual separation (from others). It likely does not involve mere blind conformity, unquestioning acceptance, allegiance, or being mesmerized by authorities (by groups) and their ideas. There are even classes on mindfulness or on meditation that (through various systems and methods) purportedly get you to be mindful or get you to meditate. However, methods and systems just make the mind more imitative, more robotic, more second-hand, and more residual.

Clarity is purity, (plain and simple). It is not about being adulterated by the ordinary and the run-of-the-mill. In clarity is great beauty, love, and eternity. But don’t take my word for it. Find out. To find out there has to be great order of the mind, but not order according to what authorities say, not order according to some second-hand, man-made structures. (Or perhaps you just want to go on blindly accepting, adhering, and repeating the same old things.) It is so very easy to repeat and to fit in. It is altogether a different story when it comes to real purity, deep awareness, and profound coherence.

Schizophyllum commune Fungi on Tree Branch ... Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021
Schizophyllum commune Fungi on Tree Branch … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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Beyond What Was Taught

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kindness
one coherent star shines
and
upon waking
a pillow goes far beyond dreams
wisely asking:
Am(eye separate)from everyone eye
see?
Am eye them in different forms?

eye had thought that(eye was separate)
but that separation came from
a flawed teaching(that
thought of itself as
greatly separate)
while not perceiving that it was
of a larger whole

Separation can cheat a kind man and
will mock the handicapped
Separation can have achieved good grades
and can have
learned the
crude lessons well

Unless one merely remains with the crudity
lessons are for transcending and joyfully discarding
thus flying love
beyond the isolated cadaverous walls of
self
that enclose
(in dark)
while grounded

Beyond being Grounded … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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When one was young…

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When one was very young, one loved nature a lot. Nearing 70 years of age, one still loves nature a lot.

Starting at the 5th Grade level, they put me in parochial school; we had to attend mass every morning. As a child, one thought, “They don’t have God locked up in a golden box on the alter; God (i.e., what is sacred) is outdoors in nature, with life… with all of the trees and creatures.” One still feels the same way.

In the playground, as a kid, they had us pledging allegiance to a flag. As a child, way back then, one saw it as a rag on a stick; one saw how so-called separate countries were in battle with each other (each with their own so-called “special flag”). As a kid, the whole thing seemed so mindless and totally absurd. One kept silent as the other kids endlessly repeated the pledge. At around 70, one still feels the same way.

As a child, one was the only kid in our grade school class who would help a fellow student (in class) who happened to be mentally retarded. At the end of the grade school years, his mother saw me in a department store and passionately thanked me. I also helped foreign students who were struggling to learn English. Much later on in life, my adult profession was being a teacher for the multiply handicapped.

While in grade school years, while one was sitting in one’s room alone, one suddenly went beyond the thought/thinking process; one realized how “special,” “magical,” “intelligent,” and “whole” it was. It was instantaneous (i.e., timeless) whereas thinking was a process that took time. One continued to engage with (or “as”) whatever it was; one continues to be appreciative of it to this day. One can call it “meditation,” but what it involves transcends all words and labels.

One was always amazed at how cruel and indifferent other fellow grade-school students could be. For instance, they would often tease and mock the boy who happened to be mentally retarded. Now, at around 70, one is amazed at how cruel and indifferent adults can be. For instance, former President Trump openly mocking a handicapped man (and mindless masses still voting for him — even with all of his cruelty and racism — and ardently supporting him).

When one was young, one didn’t just regurgitate what was poured into one; one questioned things and pondered things for oneself. After all of these years, one still (thank goodness) questions things and ponders beyond the stagnant, normative traditions.

Does my blogging help much if that person hasn’t previously already figured a lot of it out as a kid? One wonders, one really wonders…

One was here in the past… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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Questioning

16 comments

 

 

We all need to question more.  Many of us, as we get older, lose the joy of deep questioning and become dull and stagnant.  Many of us, as we age, begin to merely accept what others have poured into us.  Then we look with secondhand eyes (which is really not any kind of real looking).  Boredom and mediocrity, then, set in.

If a philosophical question is merely a spring-board to get a result (i.e., a quick answer), then it is giving more emphasis to the end rather than the beauty of the means.  Real questions have a life of their own; they are not merely a shallow means to an end.  The indoctrinated, the blind, do not question deeply enough.  They have embraced superficial answers and have become hardened by inflexible, statue-like, rigid traditions and old, stale viewpoints.  Then they become rather apathetic, indifferent, and subservient.  Of course, they’ll come up with a million reasons to “justify” such behavior.  Blind conditioning works in ironclad (though malignant) ways.

If questioning is merely limited by the language (or languages) that one happens to use, and limited by traditions, then such questioning is very circumscribed and tainted.  Deep questioning goes beyond the cage-like barriers that language impales, beyond the confines of tradition.  Profound questioning — being true intelligence — is often accompanied by deep empathy.  What is pure and unsullied often naturally radiates compassion.

 

 

 

Crab Spider in Wildflower Foliage … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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On competition and rivalry…

2 comments

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Schools and educators would do well by putting much more emphasis on cooperation rather than on ruthless competition.  T(ruthless) competition bestows a mentality that leans more toward domination and indifference.  Cooperation confers more learning in terms of helping, consideration, sharing, and kindness.  Perhaps one of the reasons our world is going to pot is that so many are just out for themselves (accepting a crass, dog-eat-dog mentality).

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[The gills of the mushroom help support each other (as the whole).]

Not competing.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Not competing. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014