Lessons on how to not be selfish in Death:
A person should be buried only half a meter, or two feet, below the surface. Then a tree should be planted there.
One should be buried in a coffin that decays so that when you plant a tree on top the tree will take something out of their substance and change it into tree-substance.
When you visit the grave you don’t visit a dead person, you visit a living being who was just transformed into a tree.
You say, “This is my grandfather, my grandmother, my spouse, my daughter, my co-worker, my friend., the tree is growing well, fantastic.
You can develop a beautiful forest that will be more beautiful than a normal forest because the trees will have their roots in graves
You can give back to a planet you take so much from. You can continue the cycle of a planet we seem to have forgotten need a complete cycle to be healthy.
In essence, you can go on and live (again) in life.
And now for a few words… (Part one)
…on the idea of freedom
I know of but one freedom… and that is freedom of (ones) own mind.
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use
Freedom is a package deal - with it comes responsibilities and consequences
Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion
Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves
Humanity is free at the moment it wishes to be
Humans fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most humans dread it
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err
Freedom is an illusion. A state of mind that created by a species that has this thing we call reason. As such we automatically think we are better than others, not just the animals, but those around us. Not as good looking, as smart, as successful, as rich. Our freedom has cost us connection. We say we fight for freedom, yes, but we most often mean we fight for our idea of what that means. Is that wrong? Is that right? That is for you to decide.
The moment one thinks about their idea of free… another is repressed…. and the cycle continues.
Random Thoughts for a Rainy Day (because it is always raining somewhere)
…on the illusion of the thought.
The world is but the surface of the mind, and the mind is infinite. What we call thoughts are just ripples in the mind. When the mind is quiet, it reflects reality. When it is motionless through and through, it dissolves and only reality remains. This reality is so concrete, so actual, and so much more tangible than mind and matter that compared to it even a diamond is soft like butter. This overwhelming actuality makes the world dream-like, misty… irrelevant.
A Dose of Sanity: Part Twenty
No (point for) This Madness: An Open Letter to the Friend in us All
How many times a day do you desire something because of a label? Or cringe from it because it is one that is not in line with your thinking? Labels come in all forms, and the ones that hurt us the most are not the ones we continue to consume in our increasingly commodity-driven existence (we are told we should have so others will think we have “made it”).
They are the labels we attach to everything…. and to everyone.
They pigeon-hole us into an existence set forth by, not ourselves (ironically), but the framers of the ideas of these labels.
They give the control of your personality to another.
They hold others to a place we have given them and they stop (often) further thought from progressing.
They free the person taking on the label the need to explore further their own existence, for they can find comfort in the bosom of the label. But often that comfort will come back to bite you.
They cause us to fear, to hate, to hide away from a person …. Because of a label.
They make us less of a species.
What will it take to be free of such binds and restriction? What will it take to be strong enough to let go?
Acceptance of fear of the unknown? Understanding that differences will always exist? Knowledge?
It is time for all of us to stop this practice of Negative Theology.
Realize, Resist, Revolt (Part Two):
In our society, a person’s worldview is increasingly based upon events that were not physically experienced but dictated to her or him by the various media. Though the media is an effective tool for communication, one must remember its actual purpose. Unlike in the past, when television news was never meant to be a for-profit arm of a network, with the condensing/taking over of resources by multinational companies, a television news program, like any other television program in this capitalist system, exists to make a profit. It makes this profit by selling advertising time and it sells advertising time by getting high ratings. It is not designed to simply tell you the news, but to tell you the news in a way that will keep you from changing the channel. The same applies to radio news programs, while newspapers are written to sell the newspaper itself. They are all designed to tell the news, but more importantly they are designed to tell the news in a manner that will generate a profit. To some this may seem like a minor distinction, but this difference determines which news stories are covered, the amount and visibility of coverage, and the manner in which they are editorialized. In today’s news sphere it also dictates if the news leans towards some side of the issue, or attempts to actually sway the viewer to one side or another. This was never the purpose of the news. News was meant to be reported… un-objectively, with no bias. That is no longer the case. In the news capitalist society, it is now a commodity to be bought and sold. The news, and the way it is now reported has fractured the very fabric of our cultures and has re-enforced and created more divides between us as people. We know where to go to see, hear and digest news that leans more towards our way of thinking and seeing the world. That is not news. That is pandering. News was never meant to pander, it was meant to inform… period.
A society that accepts this edited information as the whole and unbiased truth subscribes to a worldview based upon popular opinion rather than fact and subjects itself to the will of the information providers. Without objective sources of information our society cannot make informed decisions concerning world events, or homeland politics. Such a state puts us in grave danger in this time of international power struggles and global corporations.
Kokology 101 or Breaking the (self lies) that bind…
Kolology (Japanese, kokoro, mind, spirit, feelings + Greek, logia, the study of)
1: A series of psychological games designed to uncover emotional and behavioral traits of the players.
2: A popular term for the interpretation of the hidden meanings of human behavior and situational responses.
In a world that is falling deeper and deeper into the realm of the visual, the outwardly and the mass produced indoctrination into what we are all suppose to be like (based on what someone is trying to sell us as being whom we are), Kolology is a game we may all want to take the time to play.. Regardless of whether or not your are inclined to accept such things in your own life and way of thinking, a bit of “verbal Rorschach” from time to time may not be such a bad thing.
Good Intention Photos that make me think…. Well wait a minute
On the Simplicity of being… happy….
We often see photos like this in our lives; Stating in ten words or less the choice of us and our simple drive to this thing we call happiness.
The idea (basically being stated is) one must first have the thought of the emotion in order to actually have it, and so therefore logically one can STOP oneself if one so desires from having said thoughts in the first place… and therefore lead a happier, simpler and easier existence.
Sounds great in theory, if only things were that simple.
This concept is frequently trotted out, but alas it seems to me that often this concept does not seem to pay much attention to the actualities, nor the unknowns of our species. With signs like this, the idea of the quick fix (don’t think it… and you will be all the better for it), circumvents a bigger piece of the human pie… that is the differentiating ideas between conscious and subconscious thought. While the latter may well be indicted in mood generation, quick fix pictures like this most often mean the former when speaking to this idea of ‘thinking’.
My mouth is forced downwards - it creates a negative emotion as if I was unhappy, and does make me want to feel unhappy, but is not created by my conscious mind, and is independent of my mood and thinking… That is the reality of humans, but much less fun or enlightening to put on a beautiful backdrop of… happiness….
And what of things such as bipolar disorder, hormonal imbalances, changes in blood sugar and medications, (among others), in the case of these things, many times the emotions happen first and the thoughts follow. The moods then trigger the bad or good thoughts, not the other way round.
Upon closer thought of this “choice of happiness” thing, it seems to me to be a little more like this: You feel something inside of you that’s wrong, but at first it’s hard sometimes to understand why you’re feeling that way. Only after you experience that emotion first hand can you really understand what you’re feeling. Perhaps then you may choose to try in some way to change the emotion to better feel a sense of … good… within, but to just bluntly state that Happiness is a choice seems (to me) to show a lack of understanding of the way our species really functions.
Emotions aren’t logical or always fun, but experiencing them is what makes us feel alive… good or bad.
A Dose of Sanity:
Our world is not designed to function with radical honesty. Lies are essential to keep the world from falling apart.
One may look at this thought and think that it is flawed in its premise and understanding of the human species, but in fact one only need to look closely… and honestly… at ones own existence to see the lies we perpetuate on a daily basis (not all of them bad) in order to just keep… progressing. Lies about ourselves, whom we are, where we came from, where we are going and the like. Lies to not hurt others, to make one feel more self important, build ones self up. Lies to better oneself, or perhaps better larger groups of people. Lies to calm, to ease the thoughts, and tensions of others (even if only done to bring people to a place to begin a conversation). The list of how we lie is endless.
Radical honesty is most often met with distain and a feeling of not understanding. It is seen as being cold, uncaring, unwilling to compromise or see others points of view. It is…misunderstood… in all its forms.
Radical honesty would say the world is full of lies, and that lies are often the foundation of truths. And radical honesty would also know that our species is one of a grand lack of real understanding of pretty well most everything, especially of ourselves and each other. Radical honesty would see, know and understand how scared we are as a creature, and how we (and our ability to “reason”), is our greatest triumph and our worst enemy.
But radical honesty generally desires the best for the planet… it is usual others that see this as not the case.
The importance of Being Important: The Illogically Tempting Notion of Thinking Your “Better than That”
It’s easy for us to ridicule what we might call the foolishness or small minded behaviour of people down through history who believed in ideas, actions or other such things that turned out to be absurdly false or horrifically untrue. Our history is peppered with the actions of our species that we can look at (now) and scratch our heads in disbelief that anyone at that time would ever believe in such a thing. Like the Aztecs whom would make human sacrifices to appease a volcano god. Or the general thought of the majority of people at the time who were afraid Columbus would sail off the edge of the earth as he set forth to discover new lands. Most everyone in western cultures everywhere knows of the stories and actions of the people of Salem, Massachusetts whom would hang people for being witches and we could never imagine that in the world of today religious authorities would take such actions as they did when they burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for teaching that the earth went around the sun. And then there are the really big “lies”; the ones that resonate through our entire world, and act as a reminder to us all of the real deep dark places our species can go to in our thoughts and actions. I speak of things like the Holocaust and the other such actions of the Nazi regime. The ethnic cleansing that took place (and continue to do so in some instances) in the former Eastern Europe, and across vast regions of Africa. The Death squads of Cambodia… the jihad of a few that has blemished (in the eyes of many) an entire group of people, and their way of looking at existence… the list of the “lies” that populated our species seems endless.
When we look back on these now, in our (now sometimes self righteous ideas of a) higher thinking place of hindsight, most of us like to think we would have been on the side of truth and justice in all these cases (and those of us whom don’t believe some of these happened or were as bad as history states are seen as on the wrong side of the issue by the majority of us all).
But when I see the “lies” that perpetuate our world on a daily basis, I have to ask myself …Would we have?
What makes us think that we are so much smarter than those people who thought the witches were endangering their children or the world was flat or the Jews were a menace to society? It’s easy for us to know these things were wrong now, with the benefit of hindsight and when the people around us all agree that they were wrong. But would we have known it back when the problem occurred, if we were subject to the same influences as those who supported the false positions? If we had been raised with the same background, might we not have supported the same ideas? These “wrong” ideas were not supported by just (what we see as) madmen and maniacs - they were supported by mainstream people and powerful leaders. It could very easily be that you and I would have been on the wrong side on these crucial issues.
Perhaps we are on the wrong side of important issues today.
When I look at the world today, it seems to me that we often walk around with blinders on, thinking we can no longer fall into such traps. Many more “progressive” thinking cultures (and they like to champion themselves as being) seem to think that it could happen in other parts of the world but not here (wherever that may be) where we are so enlightened! This is exactly the complacent attitude that the misguided people of the past must have taken, and that so many people still take today. We have to recognize that we can be wrong, that we, too, can be fooled, and that the issues that are fooling us may not be as in our face as the blatant killing of another.
-Reliance on oil and what that drives cultures to.
-Free Market Globalization and the commercialization (commoditization) of everything.
-The Burgeoning Global Village and all the issues that brings with it.
-Ideas of existence (religious and so forth)
-Rights of different groups of people the world over in all ways in terms of this idea of “equality”
The list of things we can see that perpetuate “lies” is long and diverse, and we all fall on one side of these issues or another (in some ways).
And we all think we are right (and someone is wrong). It can be very difficult to know if a particular thing is true, such as whether a particular religion (or any at all) is true or whether a medicine is effective or whether a politician will do a good job. But it should not be that difficult to recognize when we do not know something. That it seems is the biggest problem with our species. Having the strength to simply say…
I really do not know…
More and more in our lives, we see that as a place of weakness and a place of (dare I say it) stupidity and an inability to lead. But it seems to me it is the smarter person whom can admit they don’t know… for it seems to me that is the person whom is more willing to really see, really open their thoughts and really want to understand the issue(s) at hand. Not just be sucked in by a tagline, quick fix thought or general understanding perpetuated by those around them.
I believe that people can learn this ability, but unfortunately our schools and our culture as a whole do little to help people develop it.
In our ever increasing world of entwinement we are now entering, the ironic thing that seems to be occurring is the more we become connected (through our technologies and the like), the more we are becoming polarized to a greater extent on many issues.
-One side of an issue appeals to us.
-We seek out facts to support this side.
-We get most of our information from advocates of this side.
-We feel superior for being on this side.
-We like the people on our side better.
-We trust the people on our side more.
-We believe advocates for our side without analyzing them critically.
-We distrust advocates for the other side.
-We feel the people on the other side have undesirable traits that led them to their wrong opinions.
-We jump on the slightest flaw in arguments made by the other side’s proponents.
-We find negative stereotypes about the other side very believable.
-When our opponents make negative references to us, it is further evidence of their bad character.
-Sources of information that treat us and our opponents almost equally must be biased, or they would recognize our superiority and the inferiority of our opponents.
-Rather than enduring such unreliable sources or listening to our opponents’ arguments directly, we learn of their misguided views and motives from our own trustworthy leaders.
-When an opponent is found to have done something unethical, it is reprehensible, but typical of what we expect from the people we oppose.
-When one of us is found to do something unethical it is not very important and possibly excusable if it aids our noble purposes.
-We are good.
-They are bad.
-The superiority of our view is so obvious that our opponents could not possibly be sincere. They are deliberately promoting evil, self-serving policies.
-They are our enemies, out to destroy us and our way of life!
-People like them should be ridiculed, stripped of power, silenced, punished, and perhaps even destroyed!
Sound familiar? Think it only happens “to someone else”, “in another country”, “not in my advanced culture and way of thinking”?
If we care about the welfare of humanity and we really want to see issues for what they really are, this is something that must change.
If each women or man could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, of base temptations and heartaches and of remorse as ones own…how much kinder and gentler would we be…
How much kinder and gentler, indeed.
(photo: Society: Bigger Fish Eat the Little Ones, Anton Semenov)
What is Your Jar’s Contents Comprised Of?
According to the dictionary, a label is:
-a slip of paper, cloth, or other material, marked or inscribed, for attachment to something to indicate its manufacturer, nature, ownership, destination, etc.
-a word or phrase indicating that what follows belongs in a particular category or classification
-a brand or trademark, especially of a manufacturer of phonograph records, tape cassettes, etc.
a short word or phrase descriptive of a person, group, intellectual movement, etc.
Strange how we seem to put people in the same category as we do a brand name, a type of fruit, car, furniture style, manufacturer (be it what it may), and it makes me wonder…
Why, in a world where we always strive (sometimes to our very death) so hard to be ourselves, to be seen for the person we know we are inside, do we label so much? And even more so than that, it seems as our world becomes more globalized and our technologies bring us closer, our labels are being used to create a generic view of all things, and our mass medias perpetuates this generic ideology in all forms, from the way they advertise and sell things to the way they report the news.
When you label someone (as we all do every minute of everyday in all ways), you put that person in a group of other people with the same label. It has become the easiest and most tell tale way (or so we think) to process, understand and know something about that person. As our world view continues to expand and the ideas, thoughts and other things we can now encounter continues to grow, we often can become lost in the crush of information. Labels are the easiest way to simply and quickly understand a group, person or event.
Or are they?
The more I look at labels, the more I begin to see that the group with the label can become more obvious than the individuals who share the label, and soon the label itself becomes more obvious than the individuals or even the group. Over time, in many cases people don’t see the individual anymore; they become lost in the label.
Probably originating from nicknames (thin Jane, large Jerry and so on), nicknames (even the not so nice ones) are not necessarily the same as a label. They can still hurt and cause one to feel emotional stress, but that is generally because we see a nickname as a label. They are not the same. A nickname, for better or worse, does not group a person in with everyone else; it describes one part of a person to that individual whom has bestowed the nickname wishes to speak about. (yes, I know, now the debate becomes apples or oranges in terms of nickname/label). Labels simply blanket a person as THIS or THAT and discount the individuality of each one of us (despite the fact that we ALL have shared commonalities)
So why do we do it?
To feel we belong? To have a sense of community, commonality, and like mindedness that comforts us in those times when we look at ourselves and may not understand whom we are, what we are doing and/or where we are going?
To not have to think too much? After all, really looking at the individual can be a very time consuming thing, especially if one is in contact with people on a constant basis.
To easily dismiss the things that one has built up in ones own mind and thoughts as not inline with their ideas of “morality”, ”good”, “right” and “true”.
Because we are scared (of the unknown of another).
The reasons seem endless, and in some ways totally understandable, but the problem with labels is that while easy for us to get through our day, at the end of that day after you have spent all your time seeing this person as this and that person as that, if one were to sit and think about the labels they attached to a person, would one ever stop to think…
“What did I miss today because of the label I just bestowed on them”? “What thoughts am I absent to, what experience will I not have and furthermore, what am I missing out on from others when they label me as I do them?”
“Why am I selling them… and myself… so short”?
“What is it I am really afraid of”?
How are we ever to grow as a species if we don’t stop to see that labels are in many ways necessary for us to function and understand, but also the one thing that most often hold us back from the evolution to real equality (a total and complete unrealistic and unattainable entity, I know, but at least an awareness of that fact that labels lessen the chance of that ever happening).
Let’s stick with labels on our jars and bottles. Telling me what is in them so I can decide what I want and don’t want to eat. Wear your labels on your t-shirts, shoes and watches if you so desire. If those labels bring you comfort and solace and make you feel you have “made it”
But how about for at least a few minutes each and everyday you try… really try… to clear your mind of the labels you attached to all persons around you.
Even for a few minutes, just give it a thought; you may be surprised as to what will open up to you.
…. If you only give yourself the chance.