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.
What is in a Word: Part Thirty
The Paradox of the idea:
Happiness or a ham sandwich?
Which is better, eternal happiness or a ham sandwich? It would appear that eternal happiness is better, but is this really the case?
After all, nothing is better than eternal happiness, and a ham sandwich is certainly better than nothing.
Therefore a ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness.
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.
Remember the day you were born?
If you could remember back to that day, what do you think were the first words that were uttered as you found your way into this world? I would bet my last dollar (that for most people) it would be three little words.
“It’s a girl”
“It’s a boy”
Just those three little words. Nothing more would need to be stated, for in those three little words lay all that there is of our species. Never once would the first words uttered about your existence be things like “it’s a homosexual”, “ It’s a Christian Fundamentalist Reformist “, “It’s a Liberal/Conservative”, “ It’s a Black/Mexican/Chinese/White/Caucasian /Indigenous person” “It’s an illegal alien with two children and no husband sponging off my hard earned tax dollars wanting free health care and schooling” “It’s a 1 percent-er” “ It’s a ninty-nine percent-er… those (and many, many, MANY more), labels come later.
You know the ones. The ones that we as humans put on each other. The ones that make us all see each other as this or that, allow us to hate, to begin a life of struggles to be “equal” with everyone else. The ones that have created pages upon pages of laws/books of philosophy, ideas of existence and so on to show us we are equal (or not). The ones that we think help us to understand each other (and ourselves) so much better, but more often than not stifle us as a species. The ones that force us to waste our time on such small minded thoughts when we could be exploring the universe, seeking out cures, understanding our inner minds and all we could un-tap within them.
But instead we are worried about whom one is sleeping with, whom one is praying to, whom one is voting for. Instead we are wasting our time in the constant struggle to become, to be recognized as, and to have…equal/equality.
But the strange thing is… we already are, and when you came into this world, the only thing that anyone said was if you were a boy or a girl (sometimes even less.. you just need to know they were born), and for at least those few very first minutes, there was no thought of anything else. There were no judgments. There was not classifying, no burdening of labels and no segregating of thoughts. You just were and that was enough, (and in fact for those first few moments in your small little existence, you made everyone around you very happy).
So why as time goes on do we (all of us) allow this to happen? Why do we set ourselves up to need to struggle in life? Why do we not fight to maintain the euphoria of our births? Why can’t we just remember back to those first few minutes and understand we are all equal, all the same?
Perhaps it is because we can’t remember our birth, as generally humans can’t remember much before their first birthday other than fuzzy bits and pieces of half jumbled up ideas of memories of that time. We can’t remember back to the time when we did not have to worry about such things, because then our minds were really free. We only begin to really remember things when we begin to see things in terms of all the labels that humans put on everything, and in some ways it is understandable we label all things, for how hard would it be for us to understand anything if we did not have a basis to begin an assessment?
Then again, if we could remember back to that time, maybe our understanding (or lack there of) of the labels we now use and how they limit us all would help us to make a change. Maybe we could see we are wasting our time, trying so hard to fight to be equal to others.
Because no matter whom you are, not matter what status you have, what sex your are, what colour, what creed, what political affiliation, what thought you have about existence, whom you choose to have sex with (or not)… ALL of us are less equal (in the labels) of someone else’s eyes…. ALL of us.
So why not remember that the next time you decide to say we are not equal, when you stand up for the legislation to make us so, why not laugh and scoff at the human need to put in writing what was always ours to begin with. The next time a religion, a political idea, a group says that we need to fight for (or against) something? Stand up for real equality, not just equality of labels. Understand we squandered away our equality, sold it down the river. And all for a label to feel we belong.
It’s a boy, It’s a girl.
Equality is so simple, if you really want it to be. It is human thought that makes it complicated.
Photo: Jason Decartes Taylor
What Is In A Word: Part Twenty-Seven
Silence (speaks Volumes).
Imagine one day you decided it was time to get really silent. And so, you sit in silence and you become desperately, utterly and profoundly honest with yourself. To your surprise, you find yourself uttering the real truths, often ones that you would not (in the noise of the rest of your day) perhaps even fathom as being open to you. You find yourself breaking free. You let go of the dogma that has been ground into you, from your culture, your leaders, your politics, your religious ideas and thoughts. You see that in that moment of silence, you feel fear, but it is suddenly and quickly replaced by the happiness of real honesty. Not the honesty that you have been taught, not the ones you have read, but the ones that really resonate with our species, no matter what anyone (or anything) else may say.
We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery to the origins of that. (Where that source came from may still be clouded, but that too is something that we will discover in the silence). We are all part of creation, all kings, poets, musicians, leaders (in our own right). We all have the essence of our species inside us. Whether you want to admit it or not.
You step back for a moment when you think of some of our species as it frightens you a bit to think that they (whatever THEY are) may be part of you. But again, you see truth and understand that seeing them in you is the best way to see anything about them… or yourself… at all.
And all of this comes from the silence (of truth).
Often in this life, it seems those that speak the loudest, that demand the most attention, are the ones that have very little (or nothing) to say at all. They are the ones that are seeking the greatest, the most scared, most misunderstanding… and the ones that still have not found the truth in the silence of real understanding.
Most of the greatest discoveries of our lives have gone on in the silence of the mind. Not in the boisterous regions of the populace crowds, in the rallies and the shouting and the fights. These are the products (for and against) of the actions that came from the silence.
So why, more often than not are we as a species afraid of the silence and try as hard as we might to avoid it? Could it be that in silence we know we will think things we don’t want to, don’t understand or are not ready to really look at? What is it we are afraid of when the noise has ceased all around us? Is the silence we are afraid of the silence of… self? Are we afraid that perhaps if we have this silence we will see how little we actually know and how much we need to learn? Silence seems to equal (for many) … being alone. And being alone is something humans don’t do very well.
People will often say they need … quiet. Just some time to relax and to get away from it all. But then they may turn on some music, the television, surf the net. They grab a book and read, a magazine and the like. All of those things are things that we see as… being quiet. But they are not … silence… they are distractions from it.
Silence is the time when you are just alone with your thoughts. It is the time when you can confide in yourself about your hope, dreams and fears. Silence is a time when you can really open yourself up to thinking and seeing.
It is an activity we as a species don’t really take time for because like so many other things in our existence, we are not really sure how to go about doing that, and we are scared of what we may think or feel in the silence. We are scared it may bring up thoughts we don’t understand.
Human beings seem to have this knack for never confiding (not really) in those that they see as superior/better than themselves. They will (perhaps) hang out, they will laugh, have a drink or two, share some stories about life, but it is only on those rare occasions one whom you see as “better”, an intellectual superior (or superior in some other grandeur way) gets your real confidence. If we cannot do it with others, how can we do it with ourselves?
Our existence is littered with distractions; Things that keep us from having to see or deal with the silence too much. People will go out of their way to avoid it, or in their silence they do things to “deal” with it. They drink, take a substance or they say they will meditate… all in the hopes of “clearing their minds” This clearing too me is more an avoidance of the silence and an admission of being scared. Buddhists often talk of this clearing and while I do understand it, I often wonder what it is they are trying to avoid in their clearing. (Maybe their clearing is the way to true equality in silence, and I am just not at a place to see it yet).
Sometimes I think that people don’t want us to be silent, for if we were silent for too long we may change our thinking about some things, and that would certainly bring about changes in ideas and thoughts that scare some whom are not ready for their own silence, and not ready to admit or see things about our existence that they don’t really understand.
The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions. It becomes still more dangerous if it is coupled with the missionary-like zeal to enlighten the rest of the world, whether the rest of the world wishes to be enlightened or not. Now one could say that about what I write here today, and in many ways I could never argue against that because even if I say I am not, expressing my views of things logically shows the opposite. It is a strange predicament we live in as a species. Trying to balance the idea of self and respect for others and understanding that everything is not as we would want it to be.
Even if all possible scientific questions were to be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all simply because the ultimate paradox of our existence is that we are the subject AND the object of our quest. This is why I think it is so hard for us to have silence. Our quest for an understanding of the meaning of our existence is an attempt at the formalization of life. Be it science, religion, philosophy, whatever it is. But formalization is just another form of avoidance of the silence. Not a bad thing, but an avoidance all the same.
As with all things in life, order and chaos are not objective, they are determined by the observer. Humans spend so much “time” deluding themselves into believing that time is more than what it really is. Time is merely a dimension of the human mind, a necessary delusion of consciousness, a way to understand the “past” “present”, “future”… another avoidance of silence.
There is this concept we have come up with, it is called the pathogenic secret. Simply stated, it is the term used to describe that deep down memory, that “shameful”, “distressful” festering thought that you (all of us) keeps hidden deep inside. In a moment of true silence, those are the type of thoughts that may (most often will) surface, and those are the ones we fear the most.
It has been said you are only as sick as your deepest secrets, so the question may be, Are the secrets we all have keeping us from hearing the silence? Or is it all just about the control?
Control is what we all want in life, in all aspects of our being, but sometimes what we don’t understand (or are scared to see) is that we cannot really control a great deal of what happens. More it seems we need to accept our chaos, cope with it, learn from it and gently seek to moderate the ebb and flow of it in ways to maintain not only our safety and awareness, but that of all our fellow creatures.
Accepting those things that happen around you, maintaining safety, sanity and personal integrity, pausing to examine assumptions of how things “should be” and what we do/are able to do to make them that way and learning from all experiences in life may help us let go of this control, and be more comfortable with the silence (we fear).
In the words of Karl Jung “our hearts glow, our secret unrest gnaws at the root of our being. Dealing with this (unconscious) has become a question of life for us”
The questions continue… unabated… in the silence.
The (Word) Games People Play
Thou Shall Not Commit Logical Fallacies (In easy to remember symbols)
Bandwagon: You appeal to popularity or the fact that many people do something as a form of validation. The flaw in this argument seems to be that the popularity of an idea has absolutely no bearing on its validity.
Composition/Division: You assume that one part of something has to be applied to all, or other parts of (whatever) it (is). Often when something is true for the part it does also apply to the whole, but the crucial difference is whether there exists good evidence to show that this is the case. Because we observe consistencies in things, our thinking can become biased so that we presume consistency to exist where it does not.
Black-or-White: You present alternative states (to something) as the only possibilities, when in fact more (often than not always) exist. Also known as the false dilemma, this insidious tactic has the appearance of forming a logical argument, but under closer scrutiny it becomes evident that there are more possibilities than the either/or choice that is presented. Binary, black-or-white thinking doesn’t allow for the many different variables, conditions, and contexts in which there would exist more than just the two possibilities put forth. It frames the argument misleadingly and obscures rational, honest debate. Black and white is how most humans see the world in general at any given time.
Begging The Question: You present a circular argument in which the conclusion was included in the premise. This logically incoherent argument often arises in situations where people have an assumption that is very ingrained, and therefore taken in their minds as a given, so they include the conclusion (their own idea) in the premise (question) as it just seems… logical… to do so.