Wars, for humankind, have been going on for eons. War is where and when we often spill each other’s blood over systems and ideas. Apparently, in war, systems, ideas, (and control) often become much more important than any universal brotherhood, any universal oneness.
Countries of the world are divisive and most are based on (and extensions of) an antiquated feudal system; “you pay us money (i.e., taxes) and we’ll protect you from ‘others’; we’ll be your ‘leaders’ with power and authority.”
It is so easy to be lead by ignorant men who, themselves, have little or no deep understanding about order and the wholeness and fullness of life. It is so easy for sloppy disorder and hatred to trump order and compassion and then be “followed” by others. We aren’t solving the fundamental problems concerning human against human friction, overpopulation, and environmental degradation but, rather, are chaperoned to dwell in relatively superficial realms that deal with barbaric, mundane things. We were miseducated to stay quiet and to keep quiet and to “fit in” and keep our mouths closed. Most of us merely blindly conform and see nothing wrong with it. It is easy for dullness to accept dullness. It is easy for mediocrity to accept mediocrity.
Crab Spider with Butterfly Prey … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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
To be one series of conditioned responses after another, each and every day — and please excuse me for saying so — is a rather lackadaisical way to be. It merely entails letting what was poured into you (over time, by society) internally flutter around to emerge out again (externally) slightly modified, slightly altered (but essentially being the same-old-thing). It is the way most people are, and it is the way the bureaucrats want you to remain. They want you to emit what was injected into you. The powers-that-be don’t want any Walt Whitmans, John Lennons, or Rosa Parks questioning things. No way! The powers-that-be want to everyone to robotically conform and nicely fit into their prearranged patterns. Period. They want everyone to remain being the cogs in the nice prearranged machine. The powers-that-be are themselves part of that humongous machine and they will use domination, force, and will blindly do anything to preserve it. Reacting, day in and day out, only like you were programmed (or miseducated) to react… is a very mechanistic/machine-like way of being. Most people do not question enough. Most people do not perceive enough.
Real freedom exists beyond mere conditioned responses. To dwell in (and “as”) real freedom may be an arduous task that may not (at all) be possible for the halfhearted. Real freedom may involve getting laughed at, ridiculed, hated, spit on, and ostracized. Real freedom may involve going beyond a fallacious essence that was given to you to exist as. Real freedom is a precious jewel that no money can buy, that no amount of bartering can acquire.
Spider Web Sugar Candy … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
No doubt, a large number of people will dismiss this or merely become irritated by it. Very many of us — most all of us, really — assume that we have a free will that freely does whatever it “wants” to. Suggesting otherwise tends to offend people, annoy people, and ruffle their feathers. However, the decisions we are involved in are all largely governed by the chemical processes in the brain, the physiological/biological/neurological networks and systems. Conditioning — by past sociological structures, such as education, religion, and other social networks — also, of course, plays a big part in this. It may be that your decision to read this blog up to this point was as inevitable as hydrogen and oxygen combining at a certain point to form water. Billions think and feel that they have free will.
It may be that any thought or any manifestation of thinking that one exists as, no matter what it is, is inevitably involved with conditioning. So, where is freedom in all of this and is there any chance for true freedom? Real freedom, perceptually, may come when the mind is of a stillness, a wholeness, that (at times) is beyond the sequential patterns and frameworks of thought/thinking. It involves awareness beyond what was merely taught or absorbed. It is of a newness that shatters all conceived and preconceived patterns. When it occurs, there is an intelligent cessation of thought/thinking; without inevitable, conditioned thinking, there is no learned, false center as the “me” or “I” being projected. Regarding true freedom, one cannot merely “know” that one is involved with it. Only a healthy brain can allow it to manifest but it is not what depends upon a healthy brain. It is not yours or mine; it is of a vastness that transcends all borders.
Royal Catchfly (Silene regia) This red blossomed plant is a very rare wild plant of the United States Midwest; it is very endangered in Illinois, for example. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Wanting to become enlightened — to be in nirvana or satori or whatever it is — is a form of avaricious behavior that depends upon thought and psychological time. Desire and thought create psychological time. This time is always limited and based upon the past. (We are referring to psychological time, not necessary physical/chronological time, here.) In (and “as”) a person (often), there is a gulf (i.e., a chasm) — psychologically — between what one is and what one wants to become. Most of us do not mind such a gulf/chasm to exist psychologically; we were brought up and educated (or miseducated) to accept such a gulf fundamentally. We don’t see anything wrong with it. We don’t (ever) question it.
Additionally, there is often a tremendous gulf or chasm between “what one considers oneself to be” and “other people” or “other organisms.” Many people look with separation and see “their race” as better, “their culture” as better, “their family” as better, “their species” as far better, and “their being” as much better. Others are “at a distance” and they are separated from “oneself” by a gulf (a chasm), much like the chasm mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph.
You know, it is so easy to be duped. It is so easy to be deceived and defrauded to think that one is rich in the things of life. Fragmentation and psychological time are one hell of an illusion (wholly grasped by restricted minds). Be careful and attentive.
[Note: My wife, Marla, is doing better following her recent shoulder surgery; she, however, will still require further surgery on that shoulder.]
Snow Crystals … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
[Note: My wife Marla’s shoulder replacement surgery went well (so far, it seems) but she still has a long way to full recovery. She must have strong PICC Line antibiotics given to her intravenously via syringes multiple times per day for 6 weeks (and i am the one giving her these). Additionally, i am helping her with her enteral feedings (via tube feedings to her stomach) multiple times per day (because, at the current time, she is unable to do them herself, with only one functional arm.) The shoulder replacement that they put in is a special antibiotic-emitting kind and she will likely need a whole other “regular” shoulder replacement done (in the same shoulder), with a steel replacement, once this temporary antibiotic replacement fully heals and is bacteria-free. Apparently, the infectious bacteria that caused trouble in the first place — and that is hard to eradicate (since it lodges deep within the joint) — is a type of acne bacteria (which baffles us as to how she got it). Since i will be busy taking care of Marla for the next few weeks, i will likely not do postings after my already scheduled 01/02/2019 blog/posting; i will not have time to read others’ blogs or correspond with others re their blogs or my blogs. Hopefully, i can soon get back into blogging again once things settle down and i find more time to do so. Peace!]
The following poem has nothing to do with Marla’s shoulder surgery, by the way…
When everything without feeling happened for quite some time,
feeling came along and tried to make a difference,
but it wasn’t easy.
On the Forest Floor … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
[Note: My wife, Marla, is still in the hospital — getting strong antibiotics through a PICC Line for the serious infection that has been occurring in her shoulder, following her recent shoulder replacement surgery — so my online correspondence will continue to be limited for the time being.]
Do you feel small
in this huge cold world?
Don’t feel large.
Don’t feel small.
Just express warmth…
the warm of compassion.
That’s all that really matters.
Golden Skipper Resting … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018