Tuesday, November 18, 2008

La Joie de Vivre

Modernity and all its labour saving devices has taken the meaning of life from us. "Joie de vivre" means "joy of living", since we no longer live for our selves but permit robotic like devices to do our necessary daily tasks for us we rob ourselves of the joy which can be derived by the skill and ability of being able to individually take responsibility for ourselves. We have become so over specialized in our money acquiring tasks that the simple doing and learning of achievement is no more. We have become so corrupt by the narrow minded pursuit of money earning that existence itself has become a trivial calculation based on acquisition. I'm not trying to pull apart the materialism of our culture, those in favour of it will sing it's praise and need no help in explaining the heaps of its greed. Rather this is a lament of the lost action of living ones own life and just being ones own self. The emergence of the industrial phenomenon of the middle class has brought honest folk closer and closer to the despicable love of an aristocratic way of life. To pass our work on to others, to live off the sweat, blood and backs of others. The Count Dracula version of Vampire folklore is the perfect analogy for how the aristocracy feeds off the blood of the peasant. How else have monarchs accumulated so much wealth and lands through out the centuries? How else have the robber barons taken hold of the power of the world? We the people have become infected by our adulation of their supposed lives of ease. Yet we lost the most important thing there is to being alive . We can no longer make our own cloths, grow our own food, make our own tools and utensils, think for our selves. So we are the perfect fish to be shot in the barrel, who must purchase the necessities of life being incapable of providing such things for themselves any more. Freedom might just be a euphemism for slavery but less advertising, less propaganda equates a mind less hampered by someone else's desire to control us. We are the one animal best capable of taming itself, once done we tamed all the others who could be tamed and killed those who would not. Tamed of course just means controlled. I suppose we made the bed and there we shall lie.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Freedom from religious chains: Samsara's poisonous thorn

Samsara ends when you stop believing in it. The end of the fear of suffering is the gate to the end of samsara. Is that Nirvana? Does it matter? The Buddha said "I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians" He was wise beyond human thought and thus exceeded it by emptying it. An empty mind is the only freedom from the world of suffering and turmoil. In that process reconditioning is the byproduct and brings calmness and solace to the practitioner.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

From the cradle to the grave

The process and application of ideas (that is in the personal lives of people) has weighed heavily on my mind of late. We say and mean many things, when relating our feelings and opinions. But what seems to be more relevant is the pattern in which we do these things. I suppose what I'm getting at is ones personality as opposed to ones views. It is an interesting division, since most of us identify ourselves via our perspective. Identity is so often framed and filled by political, philosophical and practical beliefs or experiences. This is obvious, but when we really get to know ourselves and those around us the idiosyncrasies become fascinating. You might come to notice that your political affiliations are really those based in the morality you were raised on. But we might come to notice that our personal life experiences do not jive with the program our parents have entered into our minds. How we are raised and our reactions to that are of such a magnitude that the issue can hardly be avoided. I have previously described this as the software of our evolutionary process. Developed through out the ages by our ancestors and their experiences and reactions to existence. Millions of combination's of genetic characteristics and the software to go with the unit to cause it to work, survive and split off into copies again. If you have the good fortune to come from a large family with good relations and long generational relations you can start to get a look at your own family history and behavioral patterns. The way a person walks, talks, relates to the world...it's amazing. This is the mechanics of living life and that is what really makes it so important. Here is a Zen Buddhist story which brings home the only valuable point there is to life. With out it you might as well have been born a krill or plankton.

A student said to Master Ichu, "Please write for me something of great wisdom." Master Ichu picked up his brush and wrote one word: "Attention." The student said, "Is that all?" The master wrote, "Attention. Attention." The student became irritable. "That doesn't seem profound or subtle to me." In response, Master Ichu wrote simply, "Attention. Attention. Attention." In frustration, the student demanded, "What does this word 'attention' mean?" Master Ichu replied, "Attention means attention."

Being aware may be frightening at first but eventually anything else is ridiculous.

The Buddha also said, "I see... nirvana as a nightmare of daytime."

So the blue or the red pill?