Welcome to my blog---an eyes-open, no-holds-barred exploration of Western and Eastern spirituality, mindfulness, philosophy and literature. A member of the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, I lectured at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry to mental health workers for 14 years and also lectured for 16 years at the University of Technology, Sydney. My interests include the psychology of religion, transformative ritual, mythology and addiction recovery.
Monday, November 3, 2014
THE LITTLE PRINCE LIVES MINDFULLY
My favourite book is
Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [pictured left]. The book, written
ostensibly for children, but also for adults (who, in the view, of the author,
understand very little), is a classic of 20th century literature.
Have you ever watched a child play with a toy or
a game? A child ordinarily lives attentively and mindfully ... instinctively,
naturally, and spontaneously. Only after conditioning sets in does this mindfulness dissipate. Before then a child lives
mindfully. At times their attention span is very brief, but whatever be the
focus of their attention at any given moment, the child attends to that moment
In order to be free of a ‘mind of attachment’, we
must observe but don’t stay, look but don’t stop, be aware but don’t analyse,
judge or condemn. The mind must never be detained in one place. The mind must
remain unfettered, free to move from moment-to-moment. Why? Because life is
constant movement. Unless we move freely with the unceasing movement of life we
stagnate. Truth dies on us.
Truth---that is, life---is never static. The little
prince visits a number of planets on his way to earth. Each of those planets is
a miniature ‘theatre of the absurd,’ inhabited by some solitary, self-obsessed
figure who is condemned to endlessly repeat some meaningless act. The little
prince moves from plant to planet in order to learn, know, understand, and
grow. He knows when to move on. What about us? So often we get stuck in some
place, in some relationship, and do not know how to move on. More often than
not we simply refuse to move on. We think it’s safer to stay where we are. The
result? Unnecessary pain and suffering. Read Le Petit Princeand you will learn how to move on.
I've said it so many times before. We simply need to see things-as-they-realy-are, in their totality, in their actuality, without opinion, judgment, interpretation, or analysis. This requires complete but bare attention and choiceless awarenes.
We always have a choice---at
any given moment. We can live mindfully---or mindlessly. The choice is ours.
However, know this---as truth is dynamic and never static, we are denied the
comfort of fixed and absolute truth. Truth can only be known from one moment to
So, if someone tells you that this person or that person is or embodies
truth, or that this path or religion is the way, and perhaps the only way, to
truth, shun them, ignore them, dismiss them.
Truth is something that only we can 'discover' for ourselves. Actually, truth is 'no-thing,' for it does not consist of things, but paradoxically truth can only be known and understood in the moment-to-moment experience of the content of the passing things, whether internal or external, of each moment.