Individuality,religion and humor

It was early in the day. Past the dawn. Not yet a fully flung morning. And there she was. Lying in the street. Old. Dressed to the waist in a dirtied old skirt. She was asleep. Her breasts limp and bare in the sun. Her face was a tired, old face. An exhausted face. Perhaps she was in her 50s.

I drove past her in the midst of the busy traffic. And now - days later - she still is there - in my thoughts. Who cares for her? Who thinks of her? Who tends to her? No one.

Some Buddhists believe that certain humans are not quite human, but somehow from a different level of existence. They describe handicapped people and people with extreme mental disturbances as sub-humans; even some see them as incarnated perpetually hungry ghosts.

India and China are set to lead the world in the new world order that is emerging. They represent one third of the Earth's population and amongst that one third - there is enormous suffering. The ravages of disease and poverty are colossal problems in both countries.

A great sage once shared how he dreamt of being given unlimited cash and unlimited access to engineers and environmental scientists. He went around the world over the course of a lifetime - in his dream - and he was able to eradicate poverty.

But he came to see - through some subliminal message contained in the dream experience - that although science has answers for our manifold problems, free will and ignorance must also be factored into the equation.

The healing of the mind is effected by one individual at a time. And in each one of us there is a great deal of unwillingness to change. Fear prays on our insecurities and marching armies of postponement and confused defensiveness take over. We forget - all to easily - that every thought we think has an effect.

Judgment is a tired bedfellow. He rapes us of our compassion and our feeling, and he hands out cruel labels that keep us from being in meaningful relationships - both inwardly - with ourselves - and outwardly with those close to us and with those whom we hold grievances against.

Love holds no grievances. With refinement there awakens the awareness that love is our birthright. Then honesty is seen for what it is: determination. When you are aware of love in your life, you begin to demand more things of life. Your vision extends. You are no longer tied to the "me" and "mine."

The Tibetans esteem three words in their language above all others. Religion, humor (/sense of humor) and individuality. It is written in the Course in Miracles that religion is always with us. God is. But when we forget our connection with Life, with our spiritual eternity...we forget how to laugh.

In this highly pressured world, we must be independent enough to ask important questions. We must be independent enough to take the reigns of our lives and use them to steer ourselves gratefully towards selfless ends. Life begins when we have something to give.

Is this not the essence of the religous life? Is this not the source of inspiration? You will say that there are so many bad people in the world; so many unsurmountable problems; so many obstructions to progress built into the self-centered mindstate of the age.

But we are not limited to our times - if we see the ego and the war it wages. It is a timeless and inevitable dream that fearful dreamers must play over and over again until they come to crisis and see it for the futile battle it is. It is, as it has ever been, meaningless and lacking in love.

Is not a Christed being just an individual who has learned to value life with the right quality of reverence? Such a being is one who sees the sacred in everything and everyone. He or she is someone who knows the real meaning of responsibility and lives a life true to the tremendous responsibility that being human demands.

I hear people decry the war in Iraq and the terrible deeds of the American administration. I hear the sad stories of dead soldiers on both sides. I hear the hypocrisy of politicians. And I condemn none of it. What is is. That which is unrefined and insecure will always been drawn into conflict. It is a natural law. But that which is still and focused has enormous energy; such tremendous vitality and potential.

It is to that inner spring of silence and healing that we must turn for insight and guidance. We are not limited to the body. But we are prisoners of its limitations until we master forgiveness and give up our investments in hatred, blame, defensiveness and fear.

We are one world. One people. One mind.

One marvelous earth.

A Tibetan monk once came to see the Dalai Lama. He had been a captive of the Chinese prison system for some years and had frequently been tortured. The Dalai Lama asked him if he had been afraid during his time in the prison. The monk thought for a moment and then said, "I was afraid of one thing. I was afraid of losing compassion for my torturers."

Some love you must have in your heart to be such a man.

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Mind is the closest thing to our Reality...Be careful how you use it. Businessman, yogi, teacher, addicted to laughing...