Passing out of fashion.
Gleaming with the only promise worth keeping.
What remains at the end of the day...
when the shadows descend on the twilight world?
Languages take time to learn.
Horizons stretch to far away places.
The animals leave footprints.
Options are many.
Yet only two paths.
One leads deep into the forest
of dead ends.
The other is a mesh of scaffolding.
In the end
nothing remains of the scaffolding.
The senses agitate the mind,
forever delivering fresh desires to cloud perception.
Can you build a life that stands for something yet does not leave a trail?
Each new dawn beckons with silent suggestion.
Ron Clark high school teacher
Krishnamurti replied, "Yes, but only when you COMPLETELY let go."
What does it mean to completely let go?
Maybe it means to be able to live without an agenda, without fear...with a mind open to insight.
with the memory of everything
the land is old beneath
the soil accomodates the shifting centuries
freed from the lasoo of the past
nothing with very high expectations
nothing without passion
the pitter patter aqua night
rain comes falling
washing problems into the thick earth
I lie still; watchful for the kiss of sleep
softly like a february morning
you see the sea-mist rise
heaven and hell are not the end of the road. they are the opposite sides of the road...we wander from side to side along the way...
the road is a flat strip.
after roads came runways
..planes taking off.
We must take off;
...off the heavy masks deceiving us
In transcendence levity is everything.
Then follows the light
I suddenly had this conception that intelligence, in a way, is like a happy virus. A virus is very simple (like intelligence) and it has transcription reading abilities - it can read the stuff of thought (which is very complicated) and find out what is relevant and what is not (a virus immediately on entering the cell makes a beeline for the nucleus and the genetic material - the heart of the matter).
A very simple thing enters a very complex field and somehow reads it and if effective brings about a profound change in the way the system is run. In truth, viruses don't generally spread happiness -they are very good at spreading pain and misery and yes they completely change the structure and wiring of the system in which they exist. But as a metaphor the happy virus makes a lot of sense - a virus that brings about healing and happiness and sanity is - metaphorically at least - intelligence. Of course, one is not talking about intellect - which is often a very dull and blunt instrument. One is talking about intelligence - which is powered by insight and vision.
Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
Some thoughts follow on how to avoid being sad and negative:
1. Develop interests: "You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny." Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
2. Identify and Fix your personal problems
3. When you complain, cry, talk of sad feelings, or discuss problems, your friends and loved ones probably respond with sympathy and tender loving care. Unfortunately, these loving responses reward and help maintain the depressive behaviors. Some friends or family even take over chores for a depressed person who stays in bed or asks for help. Again, this rewards the passive or dependent behavior. Perhaps you reward yourself when you drown in negative thoughts or self-pity. Many depressed people eat, spend money excessively, abuse addictive substances, or have sex without love to feel better. Eliminate these and any other subtle rewards for depressive behavior.
BUT - also remember that talking through your problems with loving friends is also healthy if you do it in the right way. Bottling up frustration and anger is not healthy at all.
5. Eat right
6. Sleep enough
7. Don't compare yourself with others.
You have a unique talent that no one else has and a unique way of expressing it. Find out how you can use that wisely.
8. Meditate - Keep the bowl of the mind empty...don't clutter it with the noise of the old. That way there is space for the new.
9. Pranayama - without breath you have nothing
10. Find ways to give things to people that will inspire them (that takes some creative thinking but builds strong and meaningful friendships).
11. Wherever possible avoid the news - if you want to know what's happening in the world The Economist has a very good view of the world. But the view that is most important is the one created by your attitude (to both the good and bad things that befall you).
12. Find ways to work and live in which you are not dependent on another and when you feel you are and you don't have that person to rely on - then think creatively about how to do things differently. Empowering yourself by finding ways around the impossible builds self-esteem.
Mankind, up until recently, has been a spread out bunch of (often warring) tribes all looking for meaning in the universe. Somehow language developed for communication and with it came the collective unconscious/collective mind (which was there in animals but on a much more primitive and instinctive level). And with the development of the collective unconscious/collective mind (society) came the subconscious (individual mind) which threw up all kinds of symbols to the conscious mind in man's search for meaning. And the web of those symbols gave us dreams and myths. A myth is a society's dream and a dream is an individual's myth. Since the dawn of time we have looked to the symbols of our dreams and myths (for Beethoven his relationship to his art was his relationship to God) to point to the deeper truths (which of course are things which cannot be defined for they are too vast and so defy description - the description the symbol is never the thing itself). But until recently those symbols have not necessarily been universal. In the West for example an owl represents wisdom, yet in certain cultures (China, Egypt, India) the symbolic meaning of an owl is associated with death. It was revered as being the guardian of the after-life - a highly respected emblem indeed, but at the same time, for many it became a negative symbol.
Many symbols have great power - the Christian cross symbolizes the power of forgiveness - that life is something eternal bigger than the illusion of the body....The Aum Symbol (Amen sounds suspiciously similar - no?) in Buddhism and Hinduism relates to the the Eternal Syllable. According to the Mandukya Upanishad, "Om is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in it" Om is not a word but rather an intonation, which, like music, transcends the barriers of age, race, culture and even species. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au and ma which, when combined together, make the sound Aum or Om. It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and to contain all other sounds (Aa starts at the back of the mouth and ma finishes the sound at the front with pursed lips...then silence). It is a mantra or prayer in itself. If repeated with the correct intonation, it can resonate throughout the body so that the sound penetrates to the centre of one's being, the atman or soul.
Why no universal symbol though? Until now mythologies have all been based on in-group mentalities. The borders of our universe have been forests and seas and an "in-group"-myth protects us and makes sense of the world within our borders. It explains the world for our particular tribe. But of course such limited group mythologies don't work anymore. Look at the clash between the Muslim world and the largely judeo-christian world of the West that is going on today. They are all part of the Abrahamic tradition but they still clash because they are not all-embracing mythologies - they are mythologies with very clear fences and borders - which worked perfectly well in another age - but which are no longer suited to where technology has brought us (ie a world without borders - the rocket engine, the radio, the internet, etc has destroyed all of that). In a way the only mythology that can work today is the myth of Buddhism which sees every individual as a potential Buddha being. Now of course enlightened Christians can say the same of the Christ. The Christ is not a man. It's an energy that resides within us - the "anointed one" of correct perception. And of course the word Krishna comes from the same linguistic root. To be blessed with the insight of knowing what your true nature (and consequently the true nature of your fellow human) is of course what all the wise ones are talking about (and it's the task of the spiritual life). But sadly the religions that dominate in the world today are not ones lived out by enlightened people - they are based on outdated mythologies that persist in creating and maintaining fences between "my group" and the "other." Which is foolish and very destructive in a world where technology has made a mockery of all the traditional borders. Our common humanity is the only sane focus left to us.
So what will the new myth be? What will the new symbols be? When the astronauts first went to space and started photographing the Earth - then, for the first time ever, we got to see the real borders of our home. A beautiful green and blue globe floating in the emptiness of space. And maybe that is the most universal of symbols in today's world. In biology today there is even one view of life (the Gaia hypothesis) that sees the planet as an organism - in which all of life is intricately connected in a marvelous homeostatically-balanced experiment floating in the darkness of space.
Einstein once said, "I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind. I do not believe in a personal god and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. In his book The World as I See It, he wrote: "A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man."
In Spinozism, the concept of a personal relationship with God comes from the position that one is a part of an infinite interdependent "organism". This of course maps back well to the Gaia hypothesis and the views of modern quantum physics which have proven the interconnectedness of everything (see http://in.youtube.com/watc
Additionally, a core doctrine of Spinozism is that the universe is essentially deterministic. All that happens or will happen could not have unfolded in any other way. Spinozism is closely related to the Hindu doctrines of Samkhya and Yoga.
Einstein was most influenced by Spinoza's thesis of an unrestricted determinism and the belief in the existence of a superior intelligence that reveals itself in the harmony and beauty of nature.
Of course our newest myth is science and it's interesting to see how the greatest scientist of our age saw God (see above). Scientists may argue science is not a myth. But it is a myth. A myth is just the current map man is using to explain the world around him - how it works, our place in it etc and like every myth science has heroes and tricksters, holy grails and tales of sacrifice. A scientist might argue that 3.14 or pie is a universal symbol for truth and in a way it's as good as any. Indeed it was one of the symbols NASA used when it launched its space probes into the deepest darkest reaches of space. Yet I think the only symbol truly worthy of our attention today is the planet.
Will leave you with the words of Joseph Campbell and Chief Seattle (who poetically resonates with the way Einstein and Spinoza see things). In Chief Seattle's words there is this overwhelming sense of reverence for nature and the feeling that we need to honor all creeds and that is really at the heart of challenges of our age and I know of no greater symbol for that than the planet herself.
"Myths and dreams come from the same place. They come from the realizations of some kind that have then to find expression in symbolic form. And the only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet, not the city, not these people, but the planet, and everybody on it.
And what it will have to deal with will be exactly what all myths have dealtt with - the maturation of the individual, from dependency through adulthood, through maturity, and then to the exit; and then how to relate to this society and how to relate this society to the world of nature and the cosmos. That's what the myths have all talked about, and what this one's got to talk about. But the society that it's got to talk about is the society of the planet. And until that gets going, you don't have anything.this is the ground of what the myth is to be. It's already here: the eye of reason, not one of nationality; the eye of reason, not of my religious community; the eye of reason, not of my linguistic community. Do you see? And this would be the philosophy for the planet, not for this group, that group, or the other group.
When you see the earth from the moon, you don't see any divisions there of nations or states. This might be the symbol, really, for the new mythology to come. That is the country that we are going to be celebrating. And those are the people that we are one with.
Bill Moyers: No one embodies that ethic to me more clearly in the works you have collected than Chief Settle.
Joseph Campbell: Chief Seattle was one of the last spokesmen of the Paleolithic moral order. In about 1852, the Untid States Government inquired about buying the tribal lands for the arriving people of the United States, and Chief Seattle wrote a marvelous letter in reply. His letter expresses the moral, really, of our whole discussion.
"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
"Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.
"We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are a part of the earth and it is a part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky creast, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family.
"The shining waters that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
"The rivers are our brothers. They quinch our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
"If we sell our land, remember the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sight. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.
"Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.
"This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
"One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap comtempt on its creator.
"Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.
"When the last Red Man has vanished with his wilderness and his memory is only a shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?
"We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you received it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.
"As we are a part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know: there is only one God. No man, be he Red Man or White Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all."
My Actions Are The Ground On Which I Stand
I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.
I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love
are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
"Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it ... or
because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it.
Do not believe what your teacher tells you
merely out of respect for the teacher.
But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis,
you find to be conducive to the good,
the benefit,the welfare of all beings,
that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide."
--Buddha (Siddarth Guatama)
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
--Buddha (Siddarth Guatama)
"Taizokai is all about looking deep inside of yourself. It's like the micro-view of the universe. The kanji "taizokai" roughly translates to "the secret of the fetus". The concept is basically trying to bring yourself back to the most beginning form (like when you're still inside your mother's womb) and try to understand the universe at the most basic level. In other word, try to understand the meaning of life.
This stage of the practice contains a lot of visualization and is a huge jump from what I have been doing before. This is also consider as one of the most difficult part of my practice. At the end of my journey, around January, a ceremony will be done where I have to be blind-folded and throw a flower onto this mandala. Where the flower landed will represent how well my practices/meditation was during the next two months. Or many people believe it represents how do I shape my world (since each buddha represent a kind/set of wisdom, landing on which buddha represent what kind/set of wisdom one accumulate during the meditation process.) My mom was the only person ever, in our temple's history, who got the highest recognition for Taizokai. She landed right at the middle of the mandala. Talk about high pressure for me eh?
My master/sensei did gave everyone a personal tip for this stage of the practice, and mine was pretty interesting. Since he finds the major obstacle (or karma, if you fully understand what karma means) for me in my practice is that I seem to be not "growing up", he wanted me to visualize myself to be an old monk during the Taizokai practices. He wanted me to literally think that I am with white hair and wrinkles and doing practices. " - from Buddhist student blog
Today, all historical circumstances are changing, and we no longer have the enclosing horizons that shut us in from knowledge of other people -- new worlds are breaking in on us all the time. It's inevitable that a person with any sense of openness to new experience will say to himself, "Now, this won't do, the way we're living." Do you see what I mean? And so, one goes out for one's self to find a broader base, a broader relationship.
On the other hand, there's plenty of reason for those who don't have this feeling to remain within the field because our societies today are so rich in the gifts that they can render. But if a person has had the sense of the Call -- the feeling that there's an adventure for him -- and if he doesn't follow that, but remains in the society because it's safe and secure, then life dries up. And then he comes to that condition in late middle age: he's gotten to the top of the ladder, and found that it's against the wrong wall.
If you have the guts to follow the risk, however, life opens, opens, opens up all along the line. I'm not superstitious, but I do believe in spiritual magic, you might say. I feel that if one follows what I call one's "bliss" -- the thing that really gets you deep in your gut and that you feel is your life -- doors will open up. They do! They have in my life and they have in many lives that I know of.
There's a wonderful paper by Schopenhauer, called "An Apparent Intention of the Fate of the Individual," in which he points out that when you are at a certain age -- the age I am now -- and look back over your life, it seems to be almost as orderly as a composed novel. And just as in Dickens' novels, little accidental meetings and so forth turn out to be main features in the plot, so in your life. And what seem to have been mistakes at the time, turn out to be directive crises. And then he asks: "Who wrote this novel?"
Life seems as though it were planned; and there is something in us that's causing what you hear of as being accident prone: it's something in ourselves. There is a mystery here. Schopenhauer finally asks the question: Can anything happpen to you for which you're not ready? I look back now on certain things that at the time seemed to be real disasters, but the results turned out to be the structuring of a really great aspect of my life and career. So what can you say?
And the other point is, if you follow your bliss, you'll have your bliss, whether you have money or not. If you follow money, you may lose money, and then you don't have even that. The secure way is really the insecure way and the way in which the richness of the quest accumulates is the right way.
...There's a kind of regular morphology and inevitable sequence of experiences if you start out to follow your adventure. I don't care whether it's in economics, in art, or just in play. There's the sense of the potential that opens out before you. And you have no idea how to achieve it; you start out into the dark. Then, strange little help-mates come along, frequently represented by little dark fairy spirits or the little gnomes, who just give you clues, and these open out. Then there is the sense of danger you always run into -- really deep peril -- because no one has gone this way before. And the winds blow, and you're in a forest of darkness very often and terror strikes you.
...Well, mythology tells us that where you stumble, there your treasure is. There are so many examples. One that comes to mind is in The Arabian Nights. Someone is plowing a field, and his plow gets caught. He digs down to see what it is and discovers a ring of some kind. When he hoists the ring, he finds a cave with all of the jewels in it. And so it is in our own psyche [and organizations!]; our psyche is the cave with all the jewels in it, and it's the fact that we're not letting their energies move us that brings us up short. The world is a match for us and we're a match for the world. And where it seems most challenging lies the greatest invitation to find deeper and greater powers in ourselves. - Joseph Campbell
Various Quotes from Joseph Campbell
Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.
One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.
I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life
as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.
What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.
Your life is the fruit of your own doing.
You have no one to blame but yourself.
The way to find out about happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you are really happy — not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what is called following your bliss.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The adventure of the hero is the adventure of being alive.
There are certain moments in life when you can have insights that can go past the pair of opposites. It's as though you can see in that moment a deeper truth, as if the opposites open and you can see into the unknown.
Schopenhauer, in his splendid essay called "On an Apparent Intention in the Fate of the Individual," points out that when you reach an advanced age and look back over your lifetime, it can seem to have had a consistent order and plan, as though composed by some novelist. Events that when they occurred had seemed accidental and of little moment turn out to have been indispensable factors in the composition of a consistent plot. So who composed that plot? Schopenhauer suggests that just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of yourself of which your consciousness is unaware, so, too, your whole life is composed by the will within you. And just as people whom you will have met apparently by mere chance became leading agents in the structuring of your life, so, too, will you have served unknowingly as an agent, giving meaning to the lives of others, The whole thing gears together like one big symphony, with everything unconsciously structuring everything else. And Schopenhauer concludes that it is as though our lives were the features of the one great dream of a single dreamer in which all the dream characters dream, too; so that everything links to everything else, moved by the one will to life which is the universal will in nature.
It’s a magnificent idea – an idea that appears in India in the mythic image of the Net of Indra, which is a net of gems, where at every crossing of one thread over another there is a gem reflecting all the other reflective gems. Everything arises in mutual relation to everything else, so you can’t blame anybody for anything. It is even as though there were a single intention behind it all, which always makes some kind of sense, though none of us knows what the sense might be, or has lived the life that he quite intended.
This is the challenge of a marriage [or committed partnership]. What a beautiful thing is a life together as growing personalities, each helping the other to flower, rather than just moving into the standard archetype. It’s a wonderful thing when people can make the decision to be something quite astonishing and unexpected, rather than cookie-mold products.
When you make the sacrifice in marriage,
you're sacrificing not to each other
but to unity in a relationship.
You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning... a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.
- Joseph Campbell
- The days are dying now. Ebbing, flowing, Passing o...
- Life takes care
- Monsoon child
- Intelligence operates like a happy virus
- If you have struggled in business this will make y...
- Education and Writing
- Thoughts on a balanced life
- The only Symbol that makes sense today
- My actions are the ground on which I stand
- Joseph Campbell: An Open Life
- Various Quotes from Joseph Campbell
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