Saturday, November 13, 2010
TWENTY THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 55 YEARS ... IT TOOK ME A WHILE!
Much of what follows is faily obvious, and I wish I had learned these truths many years ago, but I didn't. Maybe something set out below will avoid some suffering on your part:
1. Enlightenment, or salvation, is not a "thing" at all. You might say it is "no-thing." It can be found, but never searched for. If you seek it, you will miss it. Truth---that is, life, reality, things-as-they-really-are---is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever (J. Krishnamurti). Anywhow, why would we need a path, when we are always in direct and immediate contact with truth/reality at all times? You must be your own "saviour and lord," that is, your own teacher and pupil. Enlightenment occurs when we---wake up!
2. How can "I" change "me"? Both have no reality in themselves. Both are brought about through thought (J. Krishnamurti). What you are is a person-among-persons. You are not the humdreds and thousands of "I's" and 'me's" that have no separate, independent, permanent reality in and of themselves. They are not who you really are. Indeed, almost all of our problems and difficulties arise because we mistakenly believe that those "I's" and "me's" are us, the person each of us is.
3. What you resist persists--for what we give our attention to, grows. No wonder Jesus said, "Resist not evil."
4. Five Wizard Words: "Get your mind off yourself" (Dr Norman Vincent Peale). We need to be set free from ourselves, to be taken out of ourselves, to detach mentally from ourselves (Peale). Most of our problems and difficulties occur because we are self-absorbed, self-centred, and self-obsessed. Know this---there is no 'self,' but there is a 'Self' that is the real you. Know the difference---and live!
5. Dependence upon others keeps us sick. "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself" (
). So, "Look within" (Marcus Aurelius). No god, saviour, messiah, teacher, or guru has any power to deliver you from yourself or even provide you with anything of any lasting value. Euclid
6. There are no victims, just volunteers. It's a choice. No one can hurt us without our consent. Although we can't always determine what happens to us, we still can choose our reaction, or rather response, to what happens.
7. "On the acknowledgement of what is there is the cessation of all conflict" (J. Krishnamurti). Accept yourself no matter who dislikes you or what you do or have done badly (Dr Albert Ellis). Acceptance is the answer to all our problems.
8. Positive thinking (which is not something other than realistic thinking) is much better than negative thinking---much better. "Like attracts like."
9. "God is the expression of the intelligent universe" (Kahlil Gibran). God is not a person. God is Life and Being Itself---the very Self-livingness of life and Ground of All-Being---in which we all live and move and have our being, and of which we are emanations. The One becomes the many, but the many are still one. Omnipresence, some call it.
10. "Take charge of your thoughts; you can do what you will with them" (Plato). "The mind is everything; what you think you become" (Gautama Buddha).
11. You don't need to recover or get "closure." What a stupid word that is! You need only to move on. Make peace with your suffering (Dr Leland M. Heller). Draw a line in the sand, and let the past stay in the past. Yes, it can be for you as if it never happened at all. Again, it's a choice.
12. "Things do not change; we change" (Henry David Thoreau). "Things go wrong because we are wrong" (Dr Norman Vincent Peale). Whenever something has gone wrong in my life, I have been "there."
13. We live and die many times in a human liftetime, and we must know when to move on (cf The Little Prince). Heaven and hell are not 'places' we go to after death; they are states of consciousness that we create for ourselves whilst on earth.
14. "Reality is a question of realizing how real the world is already" (Allen Ginsberg). Beliefs of all kinds are an impenetrable barrier to truth. We are in direct and immediate contact with truth but beliefs are like a brick wall between us and things-as-they-really are. Eschew beliefs. Bugger beliefs. You don't need them. See things-as-they-really-are. "If you want to know and understand, don't believe" (Gautama Buddha). If anyone tells you that you need to believe "this" or "that" in order to be saved, tell them where to go. People who think in terms of the supposed superiority of one belief-system over another or all others are sick and deluded---and a public nuisance. They think they know truth, but they do not. I repeat, if you want to know and understand, don't believe!
15. Life has no intrinsic, built-in purpose or meaning, and is far from fair. So, don't be surprised or shocked by anything. Others will react to you as they will. They need not like you or even acknowledge your existence. Always remain calm. Let nothing disturb you.
16. Be on the level and you won't go downhill. Honesty means being at-one with the facts, that is, the truth, or what is.
17. Love (which begins with loving yourself) means letting go of all expectations. However, before we can let go, we must let be. The latter is an act of acceptance---and a choice.
18. If you judge, you have no time to love. No wonder Jesus said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." The latter necesstates that we see things-as-they-really are.
19. If you are reluctant to forgive, remember the things that you wish you had been forgiven for. To forgive means to "give-for," that is, to give something positive for something negative by changing your state of mind.
20. "Never, never, never give up" (Sir Winston Churchill).