Many of us think, at times, pictorially (via mental pictures) and emotionally. And to a large extent, many of us think via internal words and sentences (i.e., verbally). This verbiage is called “inner speech,” and it allegedly involves one talking to oneself. Is there a separate self or separate “center” that is truly separate from this inner speech? One does not think so. Regarding inner speech, the perceiver is the perceived; fabricating (mentally) a separate observer is a waste of energy and causes needless separation. Too many of us look at things — such as fear and such as nature — via mere separation. (We were taught to perceive things, internally and externally, via separation.) (By the way, not having the illusion of a separate, central self does not negate eternity/the eternal; on the contrary, it invites it.)
We think, internally, in a multitude of ways; most of us are constantly chattering, internally, about something. This inner chattering largely consists of words and sequences of words. Words are symbolic and are always fragmentary, always limited. (One often speaks internally with a virtual copy of one’s own voice.) Stillness — which allows for wholeness — is imperative. But one cannot “make” stillness occur. True stillness is not merely an effect brought about by some mechanistic, calculated cause. True stillness comes with holistic perception beyond mere cause and effect reactions. This is why you cannot decide to meditate. You cannot say you will meditate for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. This is why “practicing” mindfulness is ludicrous. True meditation occurs naturally; it is uninvited and is not the mere result of some premeditated cause or desire. (You cannot “know” that you are meditating, by the way.)
The watery pool of the holistic, reflective mind (in stillness) will mirror the truth. An agitated mind, full of clatter and turmoil, reflects nothing.
The dictionary describes “oblivious” as ‘not aware or concerned about what is happening.’ Many are neither concerned about the environment, about stopping the current virus from spreading, nor about curtailing the injustice and discrimination going on in the world. Looking with the mechanistic brainwashing that was likely poured into you in your youth, is not awareness. True awareness transcends the mediocre, conditioned, superficial platform that society tends to educate its children with. Words are symbolic patterns, virtual reactions, and to merely look at the world through (and “as”) symbolic patterns and conditioned reactions is not real looking and is not real awareness.
The dictionary describes “narrow-minded” as ‘rigid or restricted in one’s views; intolerant.’ Many humans have rigidly clung to the restricted and limited educational patterns that were poured into them. They go through life, looking at things in pre-molded, pre-planned ways — set up by organized bureaucracy — which isn’t really “looking” at all. No wonder then, that there is much indifference and callousness taking place in (and “as”) their minds. Of course, there are a good number of people out there that have noble arrangements or professions that really help people (and animals) but the world needs far more of such people. Indifference, rigidness, and unconcern are far too rampant.
There is no rule or method to follow that enables one to truly go beyond mental superficiality and rigid methodologies. One must do it with the heart in a way that goes beyond the mere symbolic patterns of words, learned patterns of separation, and self-concepts. The true living heart has no boundaries and does not cling to man-made limitations.
If you don’t understand what living is, deeply and passionately, then you will not understand about physical death. A man (or woman) who often is psychologically dying to the dead past, to corrupt (limited) conditioning, to illusory limititations, and to robotic traditions and habits… is someone who is deeply living.
By the way, regarding physical death, it’s not what you have been told. It’s not any of the crap that people have dished out to you. It’s not that your special human soul floats away to a bliss with an anthropomorphic god or gods. It is not that when you are dead, you are dead (and that that’s it); it is not that you are reincarnated to some kind of better life; it is not that you go to some kind of heaven or hell; it is not that you float around like a ghost or specter, looking down upon everyone else. It is not what you have been told (by others). So what happens? One must find out. Intelligence must find out. I certainly am not going to tell you. It’s for deep perception to find out (and discover); it’s not for being told (for people to merely robotically believe or not believe). Again… it’s not for being told.
The dictionary defines “discrete” as, ‘individually distinct, separate, discontinuous.” For most of us, our education primarily taught us how to function with separate, discontinuous things (in ways that helped one to be triumphant and successful). For millions of years, we have been functioning largely on the basis of performance and manipulation involving separate things. The fact is, however, that not one thing in our existence is truly distinct, truly separate. Such distinction and separation is only illusory and unreal. It is like the left hand thinking that it is separate from the right hand; it is like you thinking that you are separate from the people in another so-called country.
We distinguish things by making distinctions according to their attributes and properties. That is a function of the thinking process. However, the thinking process is geared toward survival, pleasure, individual success, and fulfilling essential needs; it is not geared toward perceiving the truth, perceiving the whole. In a truly wise and intelligent person, thinking occurs when it is necessary for fulfilling basic, essential needs, but it is often left in the background while deeper, holistic perception occurs. (There is no legitimate technique or man-made method — that involves time — that can take you to that pristine, timeless dimension.) Deep perception exists beyond the cold, fragmentary nature of thought/thinking. (Mere thinking basically sees things in only piecemeal ways.) With deep perception comes intense compassion, caring, and the lack of indifference.
Attachment is very prevalent in most peoples’ lives. Most people are heavily attached, psychologically, to a large number of things. Attachment can give one a sense of security, safety, stability, and self-identification. People are, for example, attached to their religion, their country, their political propensities, their spouse, their house, property, and possessions. People are attached to their beliefs, their traditions, their opinions, and their prejudices. People can be attached to practicing some robotic, absurd method of meditation or mindfulness that they engage in often and that they think is just phenomenal. People are often attached to their conceptions of others and of certain groups; many are attached to the habit of endlessly pursuing pleasure; many are attached to seeing everything with (and “as”) preconceived labels and words. People, over the ages, have been attached to their anthropomorphic mental obtrusions of God and of divine beings. Many people are attached to existing in (and “as”) a competitive way of life, competing against others habitually (without question). Many are attached to football games and other sporting events (that glorify competition and survival of the fittest). Most people are heavily attached to their own images of self, that self (having a name) and being of a supposed real center.
This is all well and good… but, really, it may not be so very well and good. True freedom and profound wisdom exist beyond myriads of accepted attachments (however safe they may erroneously make one feel). Being bound by attachments causes the mind to be bound within limitations. A limited brain is not, under any circumstance, likely to be visited by the unlimited. (You can’t put the ocean in a goldfish bowl.) Little wonder, then, why so few people are ever visited by that sacrosanct eternity. Beliefs, that so very many people are deeply attached to, tend to divide the world causing much friction, fragmentation, turmoil, and even wars (which people die in, with all of the concomitant suffering). Most of us ardently cling to our attachments, because without them we are essentially nothing psychologically (and we are so very afraid of being nothing).
Innumerable many of us, without question, accept our limitations, accept our attachments, and accept our fragmentary lifestyle (which isn’t really living whatsoever). Improper education in the past, really, had a lot to do with it. We were taught to accept words (as symbols) as basically equivalent to the real thing; we exist as words and we worship these words. The world’s climate is changing rapidly like wildfire (due to human negligence and indifference). Most of us (because of habits and attachments) continue to live in (and “as”) the same patterns that have caused the problems in the first place. We must wake up and fundamentally change.
Listening is very important in life. How you listen matters tremendously. Most people listen with — and through — the background of their conditioning (that stems from past accumulation). With that accumulation, they listen… which really isn’t listening at all. They then walk around mistakingly thinking that they are “free” and “open.”
True wisdom may be beyond the mere accumulation of patterns (from the past). It may involve deep insight beyond what you merely have been told and accumulated. Insight is timeless; what is timeless is not of mere piecemeal accumulation (which is in time). Piecemeal accumulation is time.
A group of students came walking by and they observed the aged Lo Zu to be peering deep into a large, flourishing bush. The students remarked to themselves that Lo Zu would often be seen closely examining things of nature… nature’s treasures. “What are you observing,” the students fondly asked of Lo Zu. “Life on its journey,” replied Lo Zu. One of the students remarked, “Well, I’ve heard that one before from you. Do you mean deep within that bush is life on its journey?” Lo Zu responded, “I am observing you traveling students; it is yourselves who are life on its journey. And since one is not truly mentally separate from what one observes, this old entity, too, in seeing you, is life on its journey.”
“Interesting remarks,” the students replied. Lo Zu invited, “Take a look at the little eggs within the nest deep inside of that bush. Tell me if you see an egg that looks apart from the rest. Please tell me what you see.” The students eagerly peered into the bush. They excitedly exclaimed, “Yes, Lo Zu, one of the eggs seems to be apart from the rest. It seems different and separate from all of the others.”
Lo Zu replied, “The one is different, but is it really separate?” One of the students answered, “Well, it is different, but it is not really separate from the others; it fits in and is together with them.” “Exactly,” said Lo Zu, “It is different, such that you can distinguish it from the rest, yet it is together with the others, contacting them, and is not separate from them. When you look at things, they seem to be different from what you are — and they are different — yet what you look at, (in other words) what you observe, constitutes part of your consciousness and, therefore, is not really separate from what you are.”
“Profound observation,” the students remarked. Lo Zu then interjected, “Listen to this carefully. Whoever thinks that he (or she) is separate from what he (or she) is, inevitably falls into a lot of needless conflict and friction. Such people go through life fragmented, mentally crippled, and broken up into needless pieces. Beware of accepting separation as the norm (such as is what is taught and endorsed by all of the fighting and competing others). Please look deeper and see without all of the separation. There is great beauty and joy in that.”
The students thanked Lo Zu and went on their way. But only one had really listened passionately.
I met Kurt Vonnegut many years ago when my wife and i had gone to a book signing event in Chicago. I do not agree with everything that he says, but i am appreciative of the seven very sagacious terms which he seriously provides below. Will the people of our planet change to substantially improve the health of the earth as a whole? That is not likely (in substantial enough numbers). However, at least some of us are trying. Meanwhile, with the Covid situation improving, oodles of people are once again flying around in polluting jets and are long-distance traveling in fossil fuel vehicles to get vacations that they feel they are owed. The blue sky will be getting smoggy again and the crazy winds will continue to get even crazier.
Letter to the Future, From Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.:
“Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088:
It has been suggested that you might welcome words of wisdom from the past, and that several of us in the twentieth century should send you some. Do you know this advice from Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ‘This above all: to thine own self be true’? Or what about these instructions from St. John the Divine: ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment has come’? The best advice from my own era for you or for just about anybody anytime, I guess, is a prayer first used by alcoholics who hoped to never take a drink again: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’
Our century hasn’t been as free with words of wisdom as some others, I think, because we were the first to get reliable information about the human situation: how many of us there were, how much food we could raise or gather, how fast we were reproducing, what made us sick, what made us die, how much damage we were doing to the air and water and topsoil on which most life forms depended, how violent and heartless nature can be, and on and on. Who could wax wise with so much bad news pouring in?
For me, the most paralyzing news was that Nature was no conservationist. It needed no help from us in taking the planet apart and putting it back together some different way, not necessarily improving it from the viewpoint of living things. It set fire to forests with lightning bolts. It paved vast tracts of arable land with lava, which could no more support life than big-city parking lots. It had in the past sent glaciers down from the North Pole to grind up major portions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Nor was there any reason to think that it wouldn’t do that again someday. At this very moment it is turning African farms to deserts, and can be expected to heave up tidal waves or shower down white-hot boulders from outer space at any time. It has not only exterminated exquisitely evolved species in a twinkling, but drained oceans and drowned continents as well. If people think Nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy.
Yes, and as you people a hundred years from now must know full well, and as your grandchildren will know even better: Nature is ruthless when it comes to matching the quantity of life in any given place at any given time to the quantity of nourishment available. So what have you and Nature done about overpopulation? Back here in 1988, we were seeing ourselves as a new sort of glacier, warm-blooded and clever, unstoppable, about to gobble up everything and then make love—and then double in size again.
On second thought, I am not sure I could bear to hear what you and Nature may have done about too many people for too small a food supply.
And here is a crazy idea I would like to try on you: Is it possible that we aimed rockets with hydrogen bomb warheads at each other, all set to go, in order to take our minds off the deeper problem—how cruelly Nature can be expected to treat us, Nature being Nature, in the by-and-by?
Now that we can discuss the mess we are in with some precision, I hope you have stopped choosing abysmally ignorant optimists for positions of leadership. They were useful only so long as nobody had a clue as to what was really going on—during the past seven million years or so. In my time they have been catastrophic as heads of sophisticated institutions with real work to do.
The sort of leaders we need now are not those who promise ultimate victory over Nature through perseverance in living as we do right now, but those with the courage and intelligence to present to the world what appears to be Nature’s stern but reasonable surrender terms:
Reduce and stabilize your population.
Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil.
Stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems.
Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you’re at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it.
Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars.
Stop thinking your grandchildren will be OK no matter how wasteful or destructive you may be, since they can go to a nice new planet on a spaceship. That is really mean, and stupid.
And so on. Or else.
Am I too pessimistic about life a hundred years from now? Maybe I have spent too much time with scientists and not enough time with speechwriters for politicians. For all I know, even bag ladies and bag gentlemen will have their own personal helicopters or rocket belts in A.D. 2088. Nobody will have to leave home to go to work or school, or even stop watching television. Everybody will sit around all day punching the keys of computer terminals connected to everything there is, and sip orange drink through straws like the astronauts.
Each wish came upon an intangible dream. All dreams are intangible, being the virtual aspirations or speculations that they are. In a world past dreamers, he or she who sees things as they are (beyond distortion), ironically, does not merely see things… because things are of thought’s plurality that is largely illusory and superficial (though important to respond to accordingly at times).
Life, despite what most people think, isn’t a series of things. Life is beyond the plurality of appearances that are tricks upon the mind. Life is not wholeness either, for such wholeness, for most, is just another thing, just another abstraction to dream about.
While in the garden, the handsome blue Hostas and the attractive, purple Columbine flowers were not separate from the mind; then they were beyond mere labeling and definition; spontaneously, they transformed into what cannot be described or dreamed about. Then beauty was the “observing” and was beyond mere “observing.”
In that garden, there was careful “observing” and there was “beyond observing.” The two danced in harmony beyond fabricated plurality and wholeness. Curious, the ants, as to what moved past them in a vastness.
A couple of young men were walking near to where the aged Lo Zu was resting. He was sitting on an inclined large log with his meandering cane resting along his side. Then they observed Lo Zu walking — with his curved, wooden cane — to a nearby evergreen tree, where he presently stopped and began stooping next to the tree, looking at something down low toward the ground; he had a big smile upon his bearded face as he looked at something upon a blade of green.
The young men asked Lo Zu what he was gazing at. “Life on its journey,” reported Lo Zu.
Just then, a group of monks came walking by, all with shaved heads that were bowed down, with eyes only staring at the empty path that they were treading upon, while their “leader” marched ahead, “leading them.” The two youth said to Lo Zu, “Many say that you are the wisest man in all of the lands, yet we see that you do not march with the others and go to the temples.”
Lo Zu replied, “They march with their heads held down — not looking around whatsoever — and follow a path which they’ve been walking upon for centuries, and that path, honestly, is empty and dead. Life is not flowering in such a path. They do not look around to freely and joyfully perceive the beauty of the skies and the miracles of nature; they follow a leader who may be as blinded as they are. They spend time in the temple. It is full of man-made statues. They revere these lifeless statues, all of which were made by thought. They revere a dead product of their own creation. I, however, do not enter the temples. I remain away from the cold, lifeless buildings and spend time with nature, with creation… life. I am neither fascinated by dead, empty paths, man-made fabrications, nor with leaders who lead others to closing their lives away from life and the beauty of existence. Their fancy garbs and decorative buildings do not make them truly religious. Being religious is a living thing. If you are going to worship something, worship that poor, elderly woman toiling in the fields. Help her to carry her heavy load to her home (without asking anything in return).”
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.”
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.
Human beings have dealt with loneliness for generation after generation. Most of us run away from it. We run away from it in many ways. We run away from it through various forms of entertainment. We run away from it by incessantly watching entertaining sports, by going to entertaining religious services, by endlessly socializing, texting, talking on the phone, reading, endlessly watching television, endlessly listening to the radio, and by innumerable other ways. However, it is always there, waiting around the corner. It is there waiting and once again manifesting. Mankind has been avoiding it for eons. It can even manifest in a person who is among a large group of people. Many, as a means to coping with it, even engage in alcohol and drugs.
Few of us are really involved with loneliness beyond mere conflict. Instead of merely being in conflict with loneliness, by constantly running away from it (as most incessantly do), can one realize that one actually is what it is, without merely thinking that it is what one “has” (as some loneliness)? If we often merely try all of the innumerable escapes from loneliness, it will always be there waiting and popping up again and again. Obviously, it is great to socialize and such. But to merely constantly run away from loneliness may merely feed its flames.
Aloneness is far different than loneliness. The root meaning of alone is ‘all one.’ (How can the mind be ‘all one,’ or whole, if it is primarily composed of fragmented thoughts and if it is constantly escaping from — and in conflict with — the loneliness that it is?) With aloneness, there is contentment/joy/deep perception without needing outside influences. It may occur to one who is a light to himself (or herself). Bliss without endless motives may be indicative of the intelligence of aloneness. It is not a selfish intelligence. It is an intelligence that involves compassion and care for all. True aloneness is beyond propaganda. True aloneness does not blindly jump on the bandwagon just to fit in. True aloneness perceives beyond the inner and outer separation that so many others have accepted from so-called leaders and superiors.
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.
To truly be alive is a real art. It involves a lot of depth, understanding, and compassion. (By the way, psychological depth, great understanding, and compassion are not three separate things; they are all one.) Most of us have been indoctrinated with superficial second-hand patterns, thoughts, and traditions. Most of us live in (and “as”) an endlessly repetitious series or sequence of thoughts. That is what we call “living.” However, that may not be “living” whatsoever. Most people say that they are doing fine and are OK, but, in reality, they are not. They are full of fears, uncertainty, depression, dull mundaneness, and one series of stale thoughts after another.
Thoughts are stale. All thoughts stem from the past and are protrusions (i.e., projections) from (and of) that past. Patterns from the past can be rearranged to seem rather new but, fundamentally, they consist of the stale past. From that past, we look. Most people look through — and from — images of the past that they hold (and are). They recognize, they re-cognize things… such that they perceive according to the symbols and patterns of thoughts that they have absorbed and have clung to in (and “as”) the past. Thoughts are merely symbols and, therefore, are very limited and circumscribed. Symbols, being representations, are always residual, limited, and rather stale. However, most of us were indoctrinated to live in (and “as”) thoughts. Little wonder why so many say that they are enjoying life when, really, they are not. It’s like hugging or clinging to a Stop Sign and saying that the sign fills you with joy. You might fool some people, but you can’t fool me. That Stop Sign, like a thought, is a symbol, and a symbol is always of the past, limited, fragmentary, and nothing to get in rhapsody about. Most of us are of a consciousness that goes from one series of thoughts to another, never looking or perceiving wholly beyond thought/thinking. We go from one sequence of symbolic images to another. Even when we are out in nature, we perceive things through (and with) the screen of thought/thinking; we see things according to mere pre-learned patterns and labels; this may not truly be “seeing” at all. And yet we think that we are doing fine.
Remaining as stale, mundane, second-hand thoughts and patterns is never fine. It is the road to mediocrity, dejection, and robotic-repetition. One has to have the moxie, the fortitude, the guts, and the integrity to go beyond the indoctrination that was implanted in (and “as”) one. But most people are unwilling to do that. They are caught and find it easy to remain rather dead in the net or web of second-hand circumstance. Intelligently going beyond mere thought/thinking is frightening to them, because thought thinking is what they are; it is what they have accepted and is what they cling to.
Thinking in an orderly fashion is very useful at times. However, it is prudent to often go beyond thought/thinking. To merely remain in (and “as”) thought/thinking is sorrow. Period.
Boundless, in the dictionary, means ‘beyond limits’ or ‘having no boundaries.’ That sacred energy, that eternal flame beyond man-made descriptions, may indeed be of a boundlessness beyond the limited, and, hence, beyond the bounded conceptions and images of mankind. People tend to pretty much exclusively perceive and think about things in terms of limited labels, circumscribed patterns, fragmentary constructs, and sequential images and descriptions. All of these are, by their intrinsic nature, fragmentary, isolating, and limited. Thought/thinking is of this limitation. It has not changed in us, fundamentally, for millions of years. Four million years ago, we perceived via limitation and conflict. And four million years later; we are still perceiving basically via limitation and conflict. We still primarily mostly look with separation at all things; one still continuously perceives oneself as being a separate, independent individual.
Even most of the scientists are caught in this fragmentary, circumscribed, piecemeal way of looking at things. Even though they have some interesting theories and discoveries, they still are perplexed about the nature of things. They have their conflicting theories and divisions of thinking about things. The various so-called religions, too, have their divisions and conflicting theories and stories. Concerning them, people still make and construct stone images to impress others by, just as what was done many millennia ago. Though we’ve changed tremendously technologically, we’ve — most of us anyway — stayed fundamentally the same inwardly (i.e., psychologically) for eons. We still look at things via separation, limitation, circumscribed labels, and conflict. Most of us have a lot of deep-seated fears and psychological problems. Yet we think that we are highly evolved.
Most of us were enthusiastically programmed to react, perceive, and continue to function just like everyone else, both outwardly and inwardly. Heaven forbid if you began to look at things in a whole, new way. But a whole, new way was how Einstein came up with some of his brilliant works; and, believe me, he understood far more than what he revealed in his published and popular works.
The question is: Can one perceive — in a fundamentally different way — without exclusively depending upon mere (limited) patterns (that you were molded to contain)? To answer that question truly and deeply, consciousness needs to go through a radical change. All of the stuff that was hammered into you, throughout your past, has to be put aside or (rather) psychologically died to. When one truly transcends all of the illusory separations, limitations, fragmentation, and division, then real intelligence and compassion emerge. But it isn’t compassion that “you” “have”; it is compassion; it is of the whole, not of a separate “you.”
This Allosaurus Dinosaur Leg-bone was sliced and polished, revealing the now crystallized canals (ducts or channels) that used to transport air (and some blood) through the system; they stored oxygen within their bones, which was a very advanced system (superior to what mammals currently have).
Motivation is oftentimes a very good thing. Your teachers wanted you to have plenty of it when you were a youth in elementary school. Most people look at a man or woman who has very little gumption as being rather mediocre and unproductive. Motivation helps one to accomplish things; oftentimes these things are necessary for good health, community prosperity, and the planet’s wellbeing.
It is prudent to have motivation for one’s so-called self and immediate family. It would be even more prudent to engage in motivation that helps the environment and the planet as a whole. Too many people were educated and conditioned to have motivation for the “self” while, all along, not seeing this self as including and being other life forms and the planet as a whole. Most of us were educated and conditioned to strive for a small, fragmentary self that is (for the most part) considered to be something apart from the whole. Most of us graduate from school, being so very proud of our graduation, and then go out (conditioned and programmed to have motivation for fragmentary concepts of rather separate selves and separate groups); then we ruthlessly compete, struggle, disagree over our separative images and beliefs… and continue to cling to motivational patterns that are isolating, divisive, and devoid of real, holistic compassion.
Although motivation has its place, it is wise to go beyond motivation at times. Thought/thinking is always tied to motivation. Thinking occurs for a reason (usually a very conditioned reason); thinking always involves moving in some direction, acquiring, avoiding, or getting… (all involving motivation). However, a very intelligent mind can see the limitation and the fragmentary nature of motivation; then, if it is lucky, it can sometimes be where motivation is not necessary, where motivation is no longer needed. This motivationless state is where thinking is transcended (without effort) and put aside (for the time being); it is of a causeless bliss and joy.
Can one, out of psychological strife and motivational effort, bring such a state into being? Of course not. The psychological ending of conditioning does not merely depend upon motivational patterns. Thinking (as internal, psychological motivation) has its place, but wisdom goes beyond what is of no use in terms of wholeness and profound awareness. One of intelligence does not set aside a special time to “go beyond motivational thinking” or to “indulge in meditation.” It is not what one can arrange to happen via set motivational undertakings. It happens naturally, spontaneously, without pre-programmed calculation… or it does not happen at all.
Pearling is what occurs in aquarium plants that — when in enough light — emit bubbles of oxygen into the water (that naturally stream upward during photosynthesis). The photo is of some of my Corkscrew Vals pearling. All plants, terrestrial plants included, emit oxygen into the atmosphere during photosynthesis — thank goodness for us — as a natural by-product.
We have space psychologically and, for most of us, it is very limited. Everyone seems to have a space between the so-called central “I” (or “me”) and the “other” thoughts that this “I” is purportedly thinking. People do not realize that this “I” (or “me”) is neither central nor truly “in control” of the so-called “other” thoughts. The image of a center is just a projection of the psychological process and (as such) it is not truly manipulating anything. However, unfortunately, minds conditioned and taught to perceive through this illusory mode of operation tend to be very uncomfortable about going beyond it. The “I” was not designed for one to have insight and holistic perception; the “I” formed as an extension for self-preservation. Preservation and care for the body are crucial and very necessary. “Thinking” was to tool to help in regard to that. But then thought began to make itself out to be the essence of the organism. Then it began projecting the “I,” the “me,” imagining the “I” or the “me” to be a central regulatory entity that dominates or produces the so-called subservient thoughts.
People have, psychologically, created a space between the “I” and other thoughts, (thoughts that the “I” allegedly manipulates). They have space between the perceiver and “that which is perceived.” Such (limited) space is often internal (i.e., between the “me” and the other thoughts). It also, all too often, deals with the external… “me” separate from the animal that is hunted by me.
Going beyond the “I” due to keen insight is what negates these false constructs within the mind. Going beyond the “I,” the “so-called center,” the “me,” is not dangerous. On the contrary, it is only a very intelligent, aware mind that does so. And in so doing, it transcends friction, separation, conflict, illusory fabrications, and internal falsities. Then the body and the mind are in perfect harmony beyond the need to control. This lack of control is not chaos; on the contrary, it is an orderly movement involving insight from a profound whole.
When most people observe, they are observing fragmentarily, with — and from — learned separation. They are observing through a conditioned screen of thought/thinking (involving labels, categorization, and separative distance). This separative structure is of a very crude nature and it is very limited. Such limitation allows very little room for true joy and insight.
Deep compassion occurs when the mind transcends the illusoriness of the supposedly separate “central I.” When other life forms are not merely seen from a separative distance, then a real (much more profound) kind of intelligence manifests; it may involve a space that is not limited. This manifestation is of order and right action. Such right action is not merely a series of dull, learned routines reoccurring as mundane, dead-from-the-heart-up reactions.
The following is not meant to offend those who pray. If you are into “praying,” please read this as objectively as possible.
Praying is still what a lot of people do. Why do people pray and what does praying involve? We must be careful not to overly or subjectively analyze it, since (psychologically) the analyzer is not something truly separate from the analyzed.
People who pray will tell you that they are praying to God, to what they consider or think/feel God to be. Fundamentally, in all actuality, they are praying to an image (of what their thoughts consider God to be). This image is a protrusion of their thinking process. It is a product and fabrication of thought/thinking. One of the associative feelings or suppositions regarding this projected image, regarding what “God” is considered to be, involves attributes of power, dominance, (and all of this with a heavily anthropomorphic bent). In other words, this image of God — within people, constituting part of their minds — consists of human (often fatherly) attributes; these images, for instance, tend to be formulated of human attributes involving such things as great strength, power, endurance, fortitude, fairness, awareness, and keen judgment. (Most people do not harbor internal images of a lazy, indifferent, weak God. Most brains do not harbor associative constructs tying images of God to inefficiency, indolence, and to a complete lack of awareness.)
Many ardently cling to this image involving domination and power — whom they call “God” — and will insist that it is more than a self-projected image that they carry. Curiously, if one examines honestly, there is another image that they carry that (coincidentally) also involves great domination and power. Do you realize what it is? It is the image of the self. It is the image of the “I” and/or the “me.” However, most of us do not see it for what it is (i.e., a projected, concocted image); most of us see it (or feel it) to be the permanent, separate, central orchestrator and core regulator of all of the other thoughts. Most of us see it as what has true domination and power; it (to us) is what is having domination and power over the “other” thoughts (and is separate from them). (So there exists domination and power regarding “God” and domination and power involving the “I” or the “me.”) We don’t see the “I” for what it really is… another protrusion of thought/thinking that (in reality) is neither powerful, dominant, nor truly central. However, most all of us cling to this psychological structure because it fits in well with what everyone else has absorbed and accepted as legitimate. We evolved from primitive hominids in an environment where domination and power were critical and extremely important. Following leaders of power — or forces of power — was critical and necessary way back then, wasn’t it? We haven’t dropped those old-fashioned ways.
A few additional points: So when people pray to God concerning things that need to be done for others, for instance, are they pointing out things that this God may be negligent about understanding or that this God is not quite fully adequate at being aware of? If mentally handicapped people and animals are not gifted enough to pray to what may involve dominance and power, does this mean that they are largely plum out of luck? When a person prays, may it be that that person feels that he or she is involved in a direct pipeline to something considered powerful and dominating (i.e., which — let’s face it — is that person’s image of God) with, all the while, this pipeline being something considered special? And could it be that the previous question implies that psychologically imagining that one has such a pipeline, in oneself, nourishes a form of self-aggrandizement, blowing up the ego of the one so imagining?
Personally, one does not pray in the traditional sense. One rolls up one’s sleeves. My prayer — if it is any form of prayer at all (which it really isn’t) — is the “doing.” I worked throughout life with the handicapped, with the mentally disadvantaged, and with those in real need. If we perceive with real intelligence and understanding, then compassion is there, the sacred is there. But it is not of dominance and power, and all of that traditional, projected, nonsensical crap.
Most of us equate nothingness with worthlessness, with triviality, with insignificance. We are terrified of psychological nothingness, and when nothingness occurs, psychologically, we hurriedly run away from it with chattering thoughts, beliefs (that are extensions of thought/thinking), suppositions, and all kinds of entertainments, including television shows (with their sports and movies), radio shows, and internet correspondences. We were all taught to be something, to constantly pursue things with motives to achieve more and more (and still more). Most of us are internally prejudiced against psychological nothingness; it tends to frighten us and we automatically run away from it.
We were taught (directly or indirectly) that the “I,” the psychological center, the ego, the inner “controller” is very substantial. To most of us — let’s face it — it is the most substantial thing of all. Everything revolves around the “I” and the “me”; to suggest that the “I,” the “me,” is very insubstantial and false would be considered blasphemy by most people. (Such talk goes against their core values, their core essence.) Has your mind ever significantly pondered about what the “I,” the “me,” actually is? Most people don’t bother to ponder about it but they merrily go on referring to the “I” and the “me” and habitually function with such manifestations (that they didn’t bother to deeply ponder about).
Without thought/thinking, there can be no internal “I” or “me.” The “I” and the “me” are dependent upon thought/thinking. Without “thinking,” there is no “I” or “me.” The “I” and the “me” are protrusions of thought/thinking and are (in fact) fabrications (i.e., extensions) of the thinking process. The mind can perfectly function just fine without the inner notion of “I” or “me,” and can often do so with compassion, holistic awareness, empathy, and intelligence. In fact, a brain that exclusively functions with or from an “I” or “me” is a brain of separation, isolation, limitation, and division. A brain of separation, isolation, limitation, division, and imitation, may be considered to be intelligent by many people, but it may not be very intelligent. The “me” is considered separate from other thoughts, people, and organisms. It functions from (and “as”) a limited, separative, isolating space that thought/thinking has concocted. It may be that this concocted limited, isolating space is what is truly illusory and (hence) essentially (in a very limited way) nothing. And it may be that a rather egoless mind — without often depending on projections of “I” and/or “me” — can function as (or “with”) a vast, boundless emptiness. Such a vast emptiness (i.e., vast nothingness) is beyond motive and may be sacred, timeless, inclusive, immeasurable, highly sensitive and intelligent, and of a bliss far from what petty minds can fabricate. A brain consisting of a limited, little ego made up of a learned and fabricated “I” tends to be rather superficial and illusory; a mind of a truly holistic, vast, dynamic, immeasurable nothingness tends to be of true intelligence, understanding, compassion, and deep perception.
My beloved wife Marla passed away on 10/07/20 due to complex complications from Wilson’s Disease. Her Hepatologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center said that it was amazing that she lived as long as she did. This makes me feel that i succeeded rather well at helping her with her illnesses. Marla was very brave and went through a lot of suffering. She was born with Wilson’s Disease, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder rendering the body to be unable to eliminate excess copper naturally. She had an auto-allergic reaction due to the penicillamine medication that she was on for Wilson’s in the past; penicillamine has a lot of very bad side-effects. At that time, she almost died from ARDS and ended up with only half-lung capacity. She suffered from dystonia — a strong tightening of the muscles involuntarily — and had to have Botox injections deep in her neck every two to three months. Due to the chronic dystonia of her neck, she had to have 8 cervical vertebrae replaced with titanium implants. She then lost the ability to swallow and had to (permanently) eat via enteral feeding (i.e., by a tube going into her stomach area). Before i retired, i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped, and — for decades — helped with enteral feeding (i.e., stomach feeding tubes) with some of my students; so i was very experienced with helping Marla with hers. Marla then had to have shoulder surgery… and then reconstructive shoulder surgery. She had Elastosis perforans Syndrome, a skin disorder (on her thighs) caused by having been on the penicillamine for years before getting on the better (less intrusive) new zinc therapy. She often told me that she had a low threshold for bearing pain but she was way more brave and stalwart than i could have ever been. Despite her pain and struggles, we had a whole lot of great, joyful times together.
I fell in love with Marla largely because of her warm and compassionate heart. She always put others first and was always thinking of others. She often made things for others, like quilts, fancy embroidery things, and homemade lotions. She was a nurse and often would take her elderly mother to the doctors. Everyone who met Marla loved her radiant, caring personality. I am so honored to be her husband.
The following is one of the E. E. Cummings poems that i read at her beautiful outdoor memorial service along the Kankakee River:
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
[Note: The following poem was written days ago and was prescheduled. This note was written on 10/1/2020. Marla, my wife was taken to the emergency room today regarding sudden serious problems with her liver. She has Wilson’s Disease. I will be absent from blogging and will not be able to respond to comments. Take care and stay safe. ]
Note: This is a Praying Mantis. She is a female, laden with eggs. Because of the rotten, declining environment, there are fewer Praying Mantises in our area every year. Years ago, we used to see Mantises frequently; now we rarely see any. I found this one in a hospital garden, along a river, that used to have a lot of them. This was the only one that i saw. Fortunately, female Mantises do not need males in order to reproduce; they can produce fertile eggs and young that are exact clones of themselves. (It sure seems like my childhood premonitions about man ruining the environment are, many decades later, turning out to be true.)
One would like to reiterate that language oftentimes plays a tremendous role in regard to how we view the world. Language, whether we care to admit it or not, predisposes us to see the world… usually in rather primitive, erroneous, crass ways. After all, language evolved millennia ago (in its basic forms) and we, for the most part, continue on with — and accepting — the same crude, old thing. Our conditioning goes much further in its entrapment by language, further and much deeper than we realize.
As i’ve mentioned before, Professor David Bohm, Einstein’s protege, whom one has talked to a lot many years ago, developed new ideas for a more evolved style of language (via the Rheomode) wherein verbs play a much more predominant role, rather than nouns (as the rather isolated, static objects that nouns generally are). These days, we continue to use language rather primitively and wrongly. The extent of this goes far deeper than many of us suppose. Language loads us with presuppositions and inaccuracies that have trickled down from the primitive past.
When someone says, for example, “I had an insight,” it presupposes that the observer is separate from the observed; it presupposes that some supposed “static” center was at some psychological distance from what the process of insight was and “had it”. In reality, deep insight exists as a movement that no central, isolated “I” actually “has” or can legitimately take credit for. A supposed central agency (that is not really central whatsoever), being static, conceptual, essentially virtual, and essentially fragmentary, cannot justifiably take credit for having what is a movement of substantiality, a holistic movement. An empty sealed jar cannot hold the wind.
When we look, we see — via language, as we were taught — a world of separate things. We see fragmentarily, in a (set, prearranged) sequence developed by language. “This” as separate from “that,” “this” following “that.” Language consists of sequence and fragmentary movements through (and “as”) time.
Do not be a slave to language. This movement asks you to please look deeply beyond it.
We function in (and “as”) time. Time involves distinctive patterns in sequences. Thought/thinking is of time; thought/thinking is time. Distinctive, disparate patterns in (and “as”) time allows for conflict, friction, and discord to take place. Needless to say, a lot of friction and disharmony takes place in today’s world; just look at the newspapers to see plenty of that going on.
There is a nameless, sacred timelessness that exists at (or “as”) another dimension completely. It is not of conflictive patterns; it is not of sequences of discord; it is not of fragments involving disorder. It is coherent and is of a harmonious whole, beyond mere conflict and chaos.
Organized religions cannot take you there; organized religions are based on achievement, progress, and movement to goals (in time)… all involving calculated (man-made) patterns. That namelessness is beyond the cause-effect parameters of patterns; it is not some causally induced “effect achieved” or end result.
Thought/thinking, though oftentimes very necessary in functioning, cannot take you to that otherness. Thought can play all kinds of tricks but it cannot take you to where it cannot function… to where it has never functioned (and to where it never will function). (Thought/thinking can easily imagine that it is of wholeness and that it is in great silence and in the special quietness of “not being thought”… while — all the while — it is deceiving itself.) Thought/thinking is always conditioned, always in (or part of) a cause-effect sequence, always reactionary, always rather virtual, always fragmentary, and always rather secondhand. Well, that’s enough thinking for now.
Can consciousness actually be in contact with the infinite when such a consciousness always functions with (and “as”) the limited? It cannot. The mind can think or feel that it is in contact with the infinite, but that is mere reaction and not the actuality. It is immensely easy for the mind to delude itself and trick itself into believing and thinking all sorts of things. A consciousness of fragmentation, for example, can convince itself that it is of wholeness and freedom… while, in actuality, that is not the case whatsoever.
Unfortunately, most people are quite content to merely — in very limited ways — accept the traditions and beliefs that were handed down to them. (Curiously, this is even the case with many of those writing on meditation or mindfulness in books, blogs, and such, as if they have transcended something, when fundamentally they have not.) Most people in limitation — which is of confinement — feel “safe.” They do not truly reexamine all that they were taught. They do not fully question what was spoon-fed to them. (Many assume that they have broken from the standard, run-of-the-mill consciousness but, fundamentally, they have not.) They, among countless others, were taught to conform, obey, absorb, accept, and adhere to all of the traditional outlooks and images. Is a consciousness raised in such a way, and programmed in such a way, much more than a bundle of reactions?
One reaction after another, in life, is limitation, is fragmentation. Holistic contact is much more than mere reaction, but far too many people are merely reacting and are not involved with (or “as”) what is beyond. It is beyond what they spoon-fed into you. It is beyond beliefs, conditionings, and symbolic, sequential thoughts and ordinary feelings (which are all limited reactions). Though the physical organism is important to maintain in time, the old “you” cannot merely psychologically exist (for that immensity and nameless eternity to visit).
Recently, within the last week or two, one of the regular blogs that i visited, as part of a rather poetic posting that it had about things to accomplish, mentioned — among other things — “becoming whole.” Not wishing to criticize here, but that posting — like so many blogs that are similar to it by well-meaning others — has very good intentions but (one feels) misses the mark (so to speak). (Unfortunately — for others — people who write about wholeness and mindfulness, but who have never actually gone through deep and profound enlightenment — though their intentions are good — are like blind men writing about the beauty of good photography.)
To have the aspiration of “becoming whole” may seem well and good but it may actually have the unintentional backfiring effect of being quite misleading and misdirecting. For instance, do any of us deeply question “what” or “who” is going to be “becoming whole”? If what purports to become whole is some illusory “center” that one has accepted (via miseducation) as some kind of core controller in the middle of consciousness that is (supposedly) orchestrating things, then one may be wasting time with fictitious, barbaric paradigms. Frankly, as one has pointed out in numerous blogs (previously), there is no legitimate “center” that is in control. (And do not misconstrue this; this does not mean, because of a lack of a true center, that one should get all depressed about a lack of security and eternity in life; nothing could be further from the case. Security, order, and eternity are there in abundance with right understanding.)
If there is no legitimate center, and there isn’t, then what is it that is going to psychologically “become”? One may become a better cook, a better gardener, a better photographer (over time). These all have to do with physical improvements over (and in) time regarding fragmentary and sequential frameworks… and in such frameworks, they are quite valid. However, wholeness — real wholeness, not silly mental constructs and fabrications about what wholeness is — may be beyond the framework of time. Time, thought, and everything in time (including thought) is fragmentary and sequential. Real wholeness is a timelessness beyond all of this. And an illusory, petty little “center” — that one has blindly accepted from society (from your parents and educators) as being legitimate — purportedly thinks that it can progress (in sequential time) to what it says is whole. It cannot. An illusory fragmentation (as an accepted image of something “central”) cannot become what is pristine and what is beyond sequential, time-oriented paradigms.
It would be prudent, before proceeding on a quest for truth, to do so without carrying a heavy load of preconceptions/presumptions (i.e., a heavy load of baggage). And without the psychological baggage, it may be that there would not be a false, fragmentary network seeking what it could never be. And there is great beauty in that.
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.
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!
People, animals, and plants all exist in (and “as”) time. Thought/thinking is fundamentally sequential and is of time. It (i.e., thought) takes time in cause and effect (causal) sequences. Few seriously question about whether or not humans can exist beyond time’s framework. Fewer still ever exist in communion with the timeless.
Timelessness is, itself, a symbolic word and, like all words, has real limitations; the word is definitely not the thing. People tend to live with (and “as”) words and mental images, all of which are sequential symbols that basically are not the things that they represent or stand for. The word “energy” is not the energy; the word “sacred” is not the sacred. Yet we accept words and cling to words and mental images — habitually — and go on in that superficial way until we die.
If people could somehow be visited by the timeless, they surely would perceive it as being sacred, beyond the ordinary, beyond the mundane. That sacredness is never part of the field of time. It is not composed of patterns that you can see; it is not composed of patterns that you can hear; it is not composed of things that you can feel. The timeless and time never fully meet at any point. For it to visit one — and “visit” is a very crude and limited way of putting it, as all words are — one cannot merely be composed of sequential images, thoughts, patterns, fears, prayers, wishes, and desires. Most people are incapable of that — with all of their innumerable habits — and so they remain as they have for generations upon generations.
You cannot invite timelessness. It can never come if you are craving for it. It (i.e., timelessness) is not responsible for what takes place in the field of time, for neither did it create the field of time nor does it get involved with changing things (i.e., manipulating things) in the field of time.
So one who is wise can go beyond merely habitually existing as superficial symbols and other sequential mental patterns; then being beyond mere habitual routine, the timeless may or may not occur. But there is more to being wise than meets the eye.
From E. E. Cummings:
there’s time for laughing and there’s time for crying— for hoping for despair for peace for longing —a time for growing and a time for dying: a night for silence and a day for singing but more than all(as all your more than eyes tell me)there is a time for timelessness
[This post is very similar to a recent post, but reiterating some things is necessary (for it to possibly “sink in”); there are also some new twists.
This will end my posts now for a while (as i had scheduled them); i will take a break (after my recent heart attack) and will not be posting for a while. My cardiologist said that my heart sustained minimal damage, which is good. He said, “Let this be a warning sign.” Warning sign! I was living like a monk and doing everything right! Hopefully, the medication that they are giving me will help keep the bad things from progressing… even though i am no huge fan of Big Pharma.]
Is there a separate controller of thought? Or is such a “separate controller” a product (an extension) of thought itself? Despite what we were taught, it really is the latter. Thought/thinking is a field or sequence of reactions. Positing that a separate controller exists just extends one’s (learned) attachment for some dominating factor, imagined powerful center, or “internal boss.” A very orderly mind can function quite nicely, thank you, without believing in some fictitious (imagined) boss as its “center.”
When someone states “I meditate for 20 minutes a day,” it implies, for one thing, that meditation is something that one can “decide” to do, and it additionally implies that there is a separate “controller” or “regulator,” a dominating entity that makes decisions controlling the thought process. However, the real facts may be that all thoughts are totally conditioned reactions (i.e., symbolic responses to stimuli) and that positing a real “center” or “controller” directly contributes to crude, limited fields of separation. For example, there is the supposed separation between the controller and his or her thoughts. But the inner “controller” is an extension or protrusion of thought and is not at all separate from what thought is. (As we’ve said before, when one speaks to others, one must occasionally use the words “I” or “me,” even though such usage is rather primitive and involves a rather barbaric language system.) However, often thinking (or projecting) a central “I” internally tends to give one a fragmentary, separative view towards others, toward other life forms, and it even creates internal separation/conflict: “me” and the separate thoughts that “I” manipulate. This internal separation then (obviously) extends outwardly into the world. “I” am separate from their suffering… or nature is separate from “me.” The aforementioned sentence is an example of a very primitive, distorted, mindset; such mindsets are, unfortunately, very common, hence all of the indifference and lack of love existing in the world.
True meditation does not occur as a result of some thought process. All thought processes are secondhand (conditioned) reactions (i.e., aftereffects) and a mere secondhand reaction (or set of reactions) can never decide to be what is whole and beyond reaction. Meditation is a thing that occurs uninvited when the mind is not foolishly trying to make it happen. Realizing that one is not something separate from a series of thoughts (as those thoughts are taking place) involves wisdom that allows true meditation to take place. And, as we’ve written before, one cannot merely “know” that one is meditating; it is beyond the field of the known.
The beauty of meditation is that its wholeness and purity may allow the mind to see and exist beyond limitation. That limitlessness is of the eternal, beyond distortion.
one budding diminutive why staring at the sky in that beautiful youthful wonderment of innocence beyond piggish power and far from cultivated fear so beyond the grip of authority beyond stuffy temples and stale priests and gurus beyond tests and drunken parties
sweet sky staring further than thought’s weary boredom and so far away from cold shoulds and musts
alive whole and unprogrammed
also looking down of course at tiny grasshoppers and katydids
Each living creature of life has a sensitive vibration of feeling, and many have a cherished awareness. We human beings somehow think that ours is “superior,” better, and magnificent. However, with much of our fancy ideas and thinking, we are destroying the ecological balance of the whole… of the globe. We perceive and think in the ways that we were taught to perceive and think… primarily in parts, fragmentarily. We see the so-called “outer environment” fragmentally, as what can be used piecemeal, to be exploited, manipulated, and used.
However, the so-called outer is really not separate from the inner. The observer is not separate from the observed. Similarly, space and matter are not separate from what time is. We are of matter’s (thought’s) doings; we are thought, time, and the movement of time. The intelligence of meditation takes place when thought is not merely habitual and endless. Thought/thinking is always partial, always fragmentary, and sequential. Real meditation is consciousness beyond the stirrings of its content; it is an effortless, unplanned, holistic quietness beyond mere fragmentation and sequential patterns. The timeless can only reveal itself when the mind intelligently perceives beyond the fragmentary movement of its content.
The comatoseness of the average-ordinary mind is the result of a cadaverous education.
Merely looking at life through a screen of symbols and labels — as most do — isn’t really looking at life at all.
Taking a shower isn’t good enough; cleanse yourself of the dusty, stale past.
One cannot be visited by that pristine ground of eternal sacredness unless one’s mind is of intense order and purity.
There is, despite what we were taught, no (real) separate ego or central “I” controlling thought/thinking; what occurs — other than what holistic insight and direct perception reveal — is mostly all conditioned reactions that one is not separate from.
Being photogenic isn’t important. Being whole, compassionate, and perceptive is important.
A kind of postmortem examination was done on him long before his actual physical death
because unfortunately, his brain became quite un-alive after the innocent age of childhood.
Miseducation, brainwashing commercials, propaganda-oriented news networks, and being satisfied with remaining in one dull routine after another
all contributed to his cadaverous pseudo-existence. He often watches television and, of course, likes sports. However, the little birds who nest in his yard have far more compassion and life than he ever did.
Red House Finch Eggs … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Let us go then, you and I, Eliot said, and so we went, After the cups, the marmalade, and tea, Beyond the porcelain, beyond the talk of you and me,
When the evening was spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; We went, we went through certain half-deserted streets. We went to the bright retreats that muttered endlessly.
Some overwhelming question always had to ask, Though it didn’t have to ask, “What is it?” We went along and made our visit.
And at the first turning of the second stair We turned and saw below, not far from the rose garden, A familiar shape twisted on the banister Under the vapor in the fetid air Struggling with the business fool of the stairs who ascends The deceitful steps of hope and despair.
At the second turning of the second stair, We left them twisting, turning below; At the third turning of the third stair We finally went past all of the melodious distraction, Music of the flute, stops and steps Of the mind over the third stair, Fading, fading; wisdom beyond hope and despair Climbing and being the third stair.
We were the stairs, We were the shapes and distractions, And at half-past one, The street-lamp sputtered The street-lamp muttered, The street-lamp said, “Regard that woman Who hesitates toward you in the light of the door Which opens on her like a grin.” My visit with Tom in the rose garden never came to an end.
Jumping Spider in the rose garden, near the door we never opened. 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’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
Imperishable insight is life that perceives its true reality (far beyond the limited, dead norm).
If you try to anchor the ship of your mind in the supposedly safe harbor of orthodox security (i.e., traditional beliefs)… you’ll stay shallow and never go deep.
The wise mind goes beyond constant symbolic thinking; it does not necessarily always need to be recognizing things as it was taught.
The watery pool of the astute, reflective mind must be still to mirror the absolute truth. A mere agitated mind, merely full of turbulence and turmoil, reflects nothing.
To a truly wise mind, many supposedly tantalizing sensations are rather trivial and somewhat meaningless… because a truly wise mind is content in itself, not needing extraneous stimuli to (eventually) make it happy.
Movements can claim to be solid entities. Mere reactions can claim to have freedom. Few truly evolve.