"Mind training is based on the idea that two opposite mental factors cannot happen at the same time. You could go from love to hate. But you cannot, at the same time — toward the same object, the same person — want to harm and want to do good."
~ Matthieu Ricard
There are some basic questions whose answers are difficult to provide to someone who is desperate to know them. "Who am I?". "Did I come in this world because I consciously willed so?". It is very difficult to define that element that 'creates' a person, as long he/she is alive. Does 'consciousness' have a prenatal existence? It might be that this world is like 'a grand Disneyland' ~ designed, engineered and created by the 'pinnacle consciousness' ~ commonly termed as 'God'.
As soon as a child is born ~ he/she is destined to face certain consequences in his/her future years ~ based on the 'nature' of the society where he/she has been born. Those who are fortunate in this regard ~ might find themselves in a Scandinavian society, or in Canadian society, or in Australian society, or in any other society where the inhabitants have mutually agreed to reach social justice for all, and better economic conditions.
Those who are not that much fortunate ~ might find themselves in societies like Iraq, Bangladesh, India, Ecuador, South Africa, and other such places.
It is also true that there are other criteria of measuring the kind of 'fortune' that we are talking about. Someone might be born in rich family ~ but he/she might have birth defects, blindness, insensitive parents and a whole suite of other such (unpredictable) factors determining their lives negatively.
It is very difficult to remain an honest and happy human being in this kind of a world as ours. It is a fact that most children are born as innocent, truthful and creative individuals. But it is also a fact that the phenomenon of (human) birth itself contains seeds for generating aberrations in to that goodness in the future. This is a beautifully strange life that we are living.
I would agree we are somewhat at the mercy of the circumstances of our birth. I have always thought our happiness is tied to other factors because however advantageous the circumstances may appear the reactions can still be negative and vice versa. The intricate play of cause and effect is difficult to follow within the individual mind. We chose to make ourselves victims by putting value on what we perceive to be causes for our negative actions.
The simplest explanation in my mind for why we are here if there were a reason is to strive to find a way to perceive this reality exactly as God presented himself at the burning bush. I AM that I am was God. It is that it is, is reality; that's all.
If we could extricate our minds from the prison of the perception cause and effect has a negative impact which we must struggle to circumvent and/or begrudge...that others must share this perception in order for reality to be attractive to us and project this out I think we could be happy. And if we all did such honest and good would be terms we wouldn't ponder. Since these terms need negative things to compare with in order to deem them to exist.
I really enjoyed reading your reply. Thank you. If every inhabitant of this planet opens themselves to a more unified awareness ~ many of our problems might dissolve from that very point.
The earth seems to me like a 'mildly' complicated paradise. And that 'mild complication' is fundamentally an outward expression on the 'inner complication'.
Perhaps the human consciousness requires purification on a global level.
I don't know about purification. I'm sure you didn't intend to cause the negative image I perceive from the term. But, I agree on the rest.
I used the term 'purification' to represent 'the phenomenon of clearing our hearts and minds', to make ourselves less selfish, and more empathic.
We all know what that is.
Of course we all know what the term means for the individual. We also know what it could mean when an attempt was made to force on society. The only way to move forward with such as that would be to find the way. Those who saw value would follow suit, of their own accord. Or not, as the individual saw fit. I simply perceived the statement as a suggestion to force, which I'm sure was not your intent.
But, even though we may be in agreement we are only two. That doesn't imply we have the faintest idea what we're talking about.
(I am not sure what it exactly means here: "That doesn't imply we have the faintest idea what we're talking about.") I must say that numbers are not what is really important here.
We need to know what and how 'things' really are ~ even though we are only 2 persons who are holding this view (of 'clearing our hearts') ~ and we may not be impacting the world on a global scale ~ but our behavior would definitely benefit ourselves and those around us ~ if we can 100% (or up-to any 'significant' level) implement it in our lives.
What is interesting is that that perhaps the whole world is willing to let someone 'guide' them to that very direction ~ if they find that kind of a 'vanguard'. It's not something uncommon. Though the results, in the long-run, turn out to be less than expected most of the time.
I personally feel that sometimes 'things' should be left the way they are. Often we need to let people be free to experience the reactions of their own behavior. Very often it is not advisable to advise them anything.
For example: should we help the Africans to overcome their poverty? I may say 'yes' ~ but I might be terribly wrong at my assessment of their (African people) basic attitude and capabilities. We may (successfully) help them only if they themselves become aware of their condition, and develop the will to do something about it.
It's very likely that they wouldn't require any help from us at all, once they reach that point.
I am against forcing any 'idea' upon anyone. But I am also suggesting that we should provide our support to anyone who feels within themselves the realization that they have reached the point where they are prepared to change themselves, so that they may become 'purified' internally, as I mentioned earlier.
Well, people should be left to experience the reactions of their own behavior. I do agree. But, I would like to see people spend time evaluating the experiences, their behavior and the behavior patterns generated in others by their actions. I don't think most people think of the ripple effect they have on the world around them and how they bear some semblance of responsibility for their part in the chain reaction of life.
Your question about helping Africans overcome poverty is a tough one. I think as world citizens we should be concerned with the suffering of others. We should lend a hand to help when needed. No one should be allowed to starve. But, if it is simply a question of people living in what we consider to be substandard housing or lacking electricity I don't know that it is our place, or right, to determine that they should be forced to change. We have a strange definition of poverty, compared to some. I do know I read somewhere that a third world country was determined to have the greatest percentage of its population considering themselves happy of any country in the world. I think we place a high value on things that may not contribute to our happiness as much as we lead ourselves to believe. So, maybe some who we consider to be poverty stricken are aware of their plight but don't put much importance on attempting to live as we do.
As to helping anyone who feels within themselves the realization that they have reached the point where they are prepared to change themselves, so that they may become 'purified' internally...I'm unsure. I think if someone has come to that realization they have already won a large part of the battle. Any change would be for them, alone, to determine if it was the right move to make. Sure, we share ideas and we hope they are good ones. We hope others agree with them but, I draw the line at attempting to 'help' others. Who am I to help? You can't know what another person is thinking. You can't know what is right for them. Any attempt to help them 'purify' themselves could feasibly cause more damage than good. I could simply be attempting to build another human being in my image.
It was a pleasure to read through this response of yours. I do not have much to add to it.
I have only one thing to add to your response - which is this: when I mentioned about the 'concept' of 'helping' or 'supporting' others ~ I didn't mean as if we should help anyone 'directly', solving their problems as if those problems were our own. That type of 'help' is required too, sometimes. But (the way that I see it) that sort of approach must be reserved for rare occasions.
Broadly speaking, what I actually intended to mean is that people should be given this information that they are not alone who are searching the meaning of life and the solutions to their problems, because that very information might help them to overcome those problems, and provide then additional courage in a world where they might conceive their existence as a terribly threatened minority.
I am proposing for a better and more organized connectivity amongst like-minded 'spiritual seekers'. It's a 'practical' necessity. And my personal experience has been that people seldom take this necessity seriously.
Well, I think one thing we tend to forget in the endless debate is that searching for meaning is one of the primary things that makes us different from the other animals. It's part of being human. I know some approach the conversation as if they have the answers and others appear that way. But, we speak about it in an attempt to seek out validation. No one knows for sure.
Open dialogue and greater connectivity is a good idea, I think. I guess because I do assume everyone has honed in on a tiny bit of truth. The part that is important to them and their circumstances. With open communication and open minds we could conceivably ferret out more. Who knows, we could find the answer within our lifetime.
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