Posts Tagged ‘four noble truths’

The power of language: from hell to heaven (pt 1 of 2)

November 28, 2013

Isaiah (Photo credit: Missional Volunteer)

The power of language: from hell to heaven

How could language be important? In particular, how could the specific ways that we use language be important? If we shift our relationship to language itself, how could that be valuable?

First, consider that language can be the source both of human society and of personal agony. Can you imagine society without a complex set of words to organize huge networks of cooperation? No?

Was language important in the construction of the building in which you live? Was it important in the distribution of the food you eat (or the cultivation of that food)? Was it important in the development of the modern technology that you use or for the mining of the minerals used in high-tech devices like radios, telegraphs, satellites, airplanes, and the electrical wiring in your home?

Isaiah Mormon

Isaiah Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

How about this: can you imagine a newborn human practicing the behavior of agonizing? If not, then why not? How about some other newborn organism of some other species? Can a dolphin agonize? A spider? A horse? An eagle?

Agonizing requires language. So does condemnation, paranoia, shame, and also the experience that is the result of the behavior of agonizing, called agony. None of these are innate to humanity. None of these experiences are possible for creatures that do not actively use language. Further, for someone who is clear about the nature of language, the practices of agonizing and shaming may lose momentum or even simply cease.

LBRP hebrew

LBRP hebrew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the US, today is the celebration of Thanksgiving. Today, I am am thankful for language itself as well for a new clarity emerging in regard to language. The new clarity about language brings liberation from confusion about the nature of language.

How is that important? The new clarity about language also brings liberation from confusion about the linguistic origin of agony (as well as shame, paranoia, and condemnation).

Many words have been used to reference this liberation from confusion about language. Enlightenment, revelation, salvation, heaven, and grace are a few of them.

Do you have a sense that some words are more important than others? Do you consider some words to be more sacred or more powerful than others?

Created for an added image to the Hebrew langu...

Created for an added image to the Hebrew language page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Considering that there are hundreds of distinct languages being used by humanity across the globe today, do you think that there is anyone who knows even a single word in every language? So, some words are going to be more powerful for you than others. In fact, some words will seem to you to have no power whatsoever because you do not even recognize them as words at all.

Further, there are dozens of distinct alphabets (as well as non-alphabetic systems of writing like hieroglyphics). Do you think that anyone could learn every single shape of every single form of writing that humans have ever used?

Which is the most sacred letter in any human alphabet? Which letter is most powerful?

Hebrew Alphabet in Rashi Script

Hebrew Alphabet in Rashi Script (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People who speak English might answer “I.” Because that letter is used for self-reference (like “I am feeling great”), the letter “I” certainly has distinct importance to speakers of English.

However, consider that most of humanity does not know any English. Billions of people might not even know the letter “I” (which is also written as “i”).

Some Italians might even say that the letter “I” is very important because it symbolizes the numerical unit 1. Thousands of clocks have the Roman Numeral “I” near the top, right?

When counting as a child, I learned to make markings of a vertical line (like the shape of I or 1). I would mark up to four vertical lines and then make a new line through all four of the prior parallel lines. The new line would be diagonal like in the letter V.

What was the origin of the four parallel vertical lines and a fifth diagonal line? It was a visual “shadow” of the the simplest form of counting on fingers, plus a thumb.

How would I write a symbol for “thumb?” A relaxed open hand with the palm facing my face would make a shape like a V (between the thumb and the side of the palm).

If I was counting to ten on my fingers, I could cross my two thumbs and make an X. Other shapes that are easy to make with my hands are C and L. However, one of the very simplest shapes that I could make would be to extend a single “Index” finger, which I could record in writing as an “I.”

English: Sample page of Sefer Raziel HaMalakh,...

English: Sample page of Sefer Raziel HaMalakh, a medieval work of Jewish mysticism. No copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do I mention all of this about the letter “I?” To establish that the letter “I” has no fundamental importance whatsoever. It is just a code or a symbol. It represents something else. It is merely an indicator or reminder.

The only importance of I is relative to an individual human observer. The actual observer is obviously more important than the linguistic symbol for the observer (“I, Ich, Je, Yo” etc). The observer may or may not interpret some meaning for a particular linguistic representation (such as “I,” which refers directly back to the observer). Clearly, the letter I (or the sound of the spoken word “I”) does not mean anything to horses or spiders or earthquakes or electromagnetic storms.

In fact, language itself has importance only relative to a particular observer or witness. Words like heaven or sacred do not mean anything to a newborn, especially if the newborn is a duck or a cat or a goldfish or an amoeba, right?

So, I mentioned that we are talking about language as the source of agony. I mentioned that the linguistic behavior of agonizing is the source of agony. I did not mention yet that all that it takes to interrupt agony is to discontinue the activity of linguistic agonizing.

If I was going to talk about what in the Buddhist tradition is called “the Four Noble Truths,” then I might say more about the reality of agony, the cause of agony (which is the linguistic behavior of agonizing), about the removal of the cause of agony (which is to discontinue the linguistic behavior), and then also a few other items such as the correct way of mindful speaking and even the correct way of precise perceiving. However, I am not focusing on the Buddhist tradition as special or more sacred than any other.

דוגמא לגופן "פרנק-ריהל" הגופן ששימש ...

דוגמא לגופן “פרנק-ריהל” הגופן ששימש לדוגמא: Frank-Ruehl, של קולמוס. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am more familiar personally with the Hebrew tradition (and the two more recent branches of Hebrew tradition: Christianity and Islam). The ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah warned about the mistaking of symbols as the things symbolized. In other words, it is not the physical book of written scriptures that is most sacred, but the lessons of what the scriptures record (which had already been an oral tradition of the Hebrews prior to the development of the Hebrew alphabet).

The written word for Divinity is not spoken aloud by orthodox Hebrews, not because the word itself is sacred in itself, but because what is represented by the word is so sacred. The word can be translated in to other languages and people could even argue and agonize about which word (or which language) is most “fundamentally” sacred.

That practice is called idolatry: focusing on the symbol rather than on what it symbolizes. Ancient Hebrews spoke about idolatry because it was a basic confusion among them; some people gave so much respect to the particular words or even to the sacred shapes like “the star of David” that the Prophet Isaiah labeled their practices as “vanity, foolishness, delusion.” Isaiah famously said that some people were worshiping only with their lips rather than with their hearts.

Other Hebrew prophets said similar things. In fact, the most famous Hebrew prophet, Jesus, specifically quoted the above warning of Isaiah (as recorded in Mark 7:6-13), while also referencing the prior Hebrew prophet Moses:

English: Hebrew Bible text as written in a Jew...

English: Hebrew Bible text as written in a Jewish Sefer Torah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6But he said to them, “Isaiah the Prophet prophesied beautifully of you impostors, just as it is written: ‘This people honors me with its lips, but their heart is very far from Me.’

7‘And in vain they pay reverence to me as they teach doctrines of commandments of the sons of men.’

8“You forsake the commandments of God and you keep the traditions of the sons of men: washings of cups and pots and many such things like these.”

9He said to them, “Well you reject the commandment of God that you may establish your traditions.” 10For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother”, and “Whoever reviles father and mother shall die the death.” 11But you say, “If a man shall say to his father or to his mother, ‘My offering is anything that you shall gain from me.’ 12Then you do not allow him to do anything for his father or his mother. 13And you reject the word of God for the traditions that you deliver, and many things like these you do.”

Hebrew cursive

Hebrew cursive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, we began by asking how could language be important. One thing that is only possible with language is the idolatry of thinking of language as more sacred than life itself. In other words, we can reject the creations of God (or neglect them) in order to worship human symbols (like a specific sequence in a particular language).

The fundamental value of humanity does not cancel the value of language (or of religious traditions). Humanity is simply the source of the importance of language (and reverence for particular religious traditions).


Before we conclude, we will repeat something we read earlier. Let’s elaborate a bit on it.

“Agonizing requires language. So does condemnation, paranoia, shame, and also the experience that is the result of the behavior of agonizing, called agony.”

(Go to part 2 to continue reading:

the four noble truths of Landmark Education & NLP

June 7, 2012
Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect ...

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect begging at Oigawa, Kyoto. Begging is part of the training of some Buddhist sects. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received a comment on the prior blog which led to the following exchange:

I have been studying Buddhism for around 20 years and recently I saw some Youtube content from Tony Parsons and Mooji (as well as Alan Watts) that demonstrated a practical clarity regarding these basic Buddhist teachings (of the four noble truths)- not just a familiarity with the words, but a direct experience of the principles.

I also credit Landmark Education and their distinction “upset,” which is similar to the Buddhist distinction (translated in to English) of “suffering.” Here are the “four noble truths” revised to use the term upset rather than the term suffering:

1) there is such a thing as the experience of an upset.

2) An upset is triggered not just by one thing, but by a sequence of misinterpretations or misconceptions or “undistinguished” reactions.

3) Upsets can be “de-constructed” or dissolved. (They are temporary.)

4) One way to interact with upsets is to be responsible for finding opportunities to create breakthroughs, which can involve “declaring a breakdown” (a functional challenge) and exploring for the commitment and value that has been active in the breakdown. More specifically, one can “declare an upset” and then use a 3-part model or distinction of “upset” to more or less “unravel the wad of tangled yarn.”

  • MindMindful says:
    June 7, 2012 at 9:50 amIs this what you mean by ‘upset’ — from anything that happens, you can analyze the causes of it, to thereby understand your experience of it……..?? close?? way off??I’d like to know more

    English: Richard Bandler in a NLP seminar in L...

    English: Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP, in a NLP seminar in London sept. 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    J.R. replies:

    The essential “technique” within the 4 four noble truths is what I would call dis-association (or withdrawing). In the field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), there is the method of (1) simply recognizing that some experience of upset is present (which shifts attention from the trigger of the upset to the experience of an upset) and then (2) stopping other activity (like through use of a mantra or prayer), which may be functional in returning someone at least to calmness- which MAY be desirable. In a way, the “mantra” of the four noble truths is ultimately about the impermanence of any particular experience, such as the experience of an upset. (One may even interrupt a panic or upset by just saying “thank you, God. I’m sorry. God, I love you. Also, blueberries are holy.”)

    An upset could be a label for any challenge which dramatically interrupts or interferes with “normal” functionality. Typically, we think of something sudden, but we could also use the label “upset” for a decade-old grudge or resentment. The idea of exploring “upsets” is not to dig in the past so much as develop discernment so that if there is a challenge in one area of life that seems to effect functionality in other areas. “Upset” is a structure to use for journaling or a conversation with someone who is able and willing to facilitate or even just listen to the self-analysis.

  • Here is how Landmark Education “de-constructs” an “upset:”

    An upset is composed of

    1) a thwarted intention,

    2) an unfulfilled expectation

    and/or (?)

    3) an undelivered communication.

    So, the self-analysis would be to take some issue and label it as the experience of an upset, then explore for the “value” behind it, as in cultivating clarity about what factors may have been active beyond the focus of conscious attention. To de-construct an upset does tend to create a new circuitry neurologically such that future similar “triggers” will send energy to the new “neuro-linguistic program” of the 3-component “upset” model, and rather than energy being “stuck” in the experience of upset (a short-circuiting neurologically), the energy can flow toward clarity and some new instance of communication (delivering the communication that has not been delivered yet).

    Typically, there may be an experience of fear (worry, dread) related to delivering that communication. The idea is that if the fear or hesitation is only moderate, then the communication can be delivered anyway with courage, rather than repressed in a paralysis of terror. Further, “de-constucting an upset” does not require anything beyond deconstructing it, but if life constructs new ones faster than old ones get resolved, then there is baseline of hysteria or distress in one’s experience of life- which is metaphorically like “purgatory” in which the sense of an impending hell is eternally present, along with a vague hopefulness about an alleged heaven.

    Buddhism, ‘a science of mind’

    Buddhism, ‘a science of mind’ (Photo credit: zensquared)

    Now, with all of that said, there is also the ‘technique” of Advaita or Zen or (anatma). Rather than focus on the experience of an upset for a personal identity and how for the person to process it and convert the energy through some “fix,” there is another possibility: let life be however it already is.

    If the labeling of something as an upset happens, let that happen. If the arising of the experience of a personal identity happens, let that happen. If the arising of the application of a coping process happens (for deconstructing a personal experience), let that happen.

    Allow for energy to be whatever it is. Allow for life to be however it is.

    If a personal identifying arises, only then can an upset person arise. In the absence of personal identifying, there is no personal identifying of anything happening to anyone. There may be identifying of some isolated feature of life that may be happening.

    1) Identifying through language is one possible natural development.

    2) Identifying through language arises naturally whenever it does.

    3) In the absence of linguistic identifying, life still arises naturally however it does. (Linguistic identifying is transitory or impermanent).

    4) There is a way to live without linguistic identifying of a person. More specifically, there is a way to use language without the identifying of a person. Then again, there is also a way to use language to identify a particular person who is the one having a particular experience and who is the one doing various things, such as isolating themselves from some aspect of life or rejecting some aspect of life or identifying some aspect of life as “not me” or “not right” or “not good” or “not okay.”

    Notice that from any neuro-linguistic program of personal identifying, every “me” habitually presents itself as “right” (such as in order to “look good”). Various programs of me can then insist on each one alone as being “right,” thus producing interpersonal conflict. Interpersonal conflict requires the linguistic constructing of persons and personalities, which is entirely natural, but also entirely transitory.

    Also, in the absence of personal identifying, there is no one to allow for anything to be. Life is simply happening however it may be happening…. unless nothing at all is happening, like when there is no linguistic activity at all, for until language labels something as happening, then there is no language happening.

    Mooji & Brahma

    Mooji & Brahma (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

a branch of the life of God is just the Living God branching

May 6, 2012

Intellect is not intelligence as J. Krishnamurti said.It is very difficult to come out of this trap and come to

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

its ownself. Life unfolds its secrets only to those who comes to its ownself.” - Subhash Chander

What is “this trap?” If one recognizes the nature of the trap, one may find that the trap requires ongoing energizing and nourishing in order to persist.

In the absence of the activity of creating “a difficult trap that traps me,” the momentum of “trapping me” dissolves like the heat of a stove when one turns off the heat. The burner may still be red hot, but when there is no additional energy flowing to heat the burner, soon the burner cools a little and then eventually has no extra heat.

This fire heats the kitchen, and the magic cal...

This fire heats the kitchen, and the magic caldron heats the hot water and two radiators : Ce feu chauffe la cuisine et le chaudron chauffe l’eau et deux radiateurs à l’étage (Photo credit: hardworkinghippy)

So, what is the nature of “trapping me?” Is it related to defining myself and identifying an image and labeling how I am and how I am not? What if I am not any certain way? What if I do not reject any particular way?

Tree - leaf canopy

Tree – leaf canopy (Photo credit: blmiers2)

A branch of God can declare “I am just a single isolated branch- this one but not that one.” However, what if that branching is all the activity of the tree from the beginning? When there is the identifying of “I am only this branch,” that is the isolating of a particular branch. When there is no isolating of a particular branch, does the branch “become” the entire tree? Does the branch “achieve” inner tree-dom?

What if the branch never did anything of its own and all activity of branching was also the activity of treeing? What if “the trapping of the branch” was just one activity of the tree? What does the tree need to do in order to stop the trapping of the branching? The tree just branches. When the tree just branches, “the trapping of the branch” does not trap the tree.

“The trapping of the branch” is always just an activity of the tree. Can the branch of the Living of God come to the secret of the tree of the Living of God? No, but the tree of the Living of God can make up that there is a trap and there is a secret to get out of the trap.

If one recognizes the nature of “the trap,” who is it that could recognize the trap? Are you the “secret trap” of “I am just an isolated branch” or are you the one who recognizes and creates such isolating in language?

Nexus Tree

Nexus Tree (Photo credit: Kokotron)

“How did the branch get trapped in the tree? How did the tree trap the branch?”

When it is clear that those questions are nonsense from the beginning, then intelligence has recognized intelligence. The dreaming of the intellect (the mind, the ego) never trapped intelligence. The intelligence is the source of the intellect and the poetic dreams of neuro-linguistic “Maya” (delusion, ignorance, misperception, sin, Mara). This is the ancient teaching that in various languages has been called Advaita, Holiness, Wholeness, Catholicism, Salvation,  Enlightenment, Taoism, The Middle Way, The Good News, The Dharma, the Truth of Spiritual Liberation, The Revelation of Divine Unity, The Rebirth of the Eternal, Knowledge of the Tree of Life, Jnana Yoga, Zen Buddhism, and so on.

“I teach suffering, its origin, cessation and path. That’s all I teach.” – Buddha 

(The Four Noble Truths of Dukkha, Samudāya, Nirodha, and Magga)

Pholiota squarrosa growing on a fallen tree br...

Pholiota squarrosa growing on a fallen tree branch. This specimen is rare, as most grow together in clusters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the four noble truths

January 10, 2012
Neuroimaging sheds light on the seat of suffering

Image via Wikipedia

This is a lesson based on a tradition called “the four noble truths.” Briefly, those truths are the first truth of suffering, the second truth of the cause of suffering, the third truth of the discontinuing of the cause of suffering, and the fourth truth of the way to live life after suffering.

The first truth of suffering involves relating to life as if there is some part of life that should not be how it is. Suffering is not simply pain or illness or old age or dying or even violence. Suffering is a way of relating to life. Suffering involves ill will as in contempt as in enduring madness as in mental illness as in agonizing as in hell. While there are a variety of forms and intensities of suffering, what I mean by the word suffering includes all of them.

The second truth of the cause of suffering involves the recognizing of the power of words. Words are symbolic codes with an origin as signals of sound, though words can also be written. The term “words” can even include gestures and hand signals or “sign languages.” 

Words are distinct from a mere signal because of the importance of the sequencing of the words. Words are the origin of what can be called nonsense, such as “this should be what should not be.” The second truth, briefly, is that all suffering is caused by nonsense made of words.

Specifically, “this should not be how it is” is the kind of formation in words that can correspond to the experience of suffering, at least if there is a belief in the nonsense rather than a recognition of the nonsense as nonsense. “This should not be how it is” is rooted in “there is exactly one way that this should be.” In other words, suffering is rooted in the linguistic model of “there is exactly one way that this should be,” at least as it applies to some particular perception or experience. “There is exactly one way that this should be” is further rooted in “there is exactly one way that life should be,” which is nonsense.

However, if operating as if it is inherently true that life should be a certain way, then suffering is the natural and inevitable result. That suffering could be in the form of ill will as in contempt as in enduring madness as in mental illness as in agonizing as in hell. Or that suffering could be mere frustration, worry, resentment, sorrow or grief.

Earlier than the belief that “there is exactly one way that life should be” is another presumption in language. That presumption is “there is exactly one way that life is,” which is also nonsense.

So, if there is a belief in the nonsense that there is exactly one way that life is, then that leads to the belief in the nonsense that there is exactly one way that life should be (which is also the way that it allegedly is), which leads to the various forms of suffering such as shame and blame and rage. If there is a belief that there is exactly one way that a particular thing is (which is also the way that it should be), then that belief in nonsense inevitably leads to various forms of suffering.

Beliefs are made of words. Beliefs are all nonsense. They are the origin of suffering.

Beliefs in what should be produce suffering. Beliefs in what is also produce suffering. Belief is also called idealism and idolatry and foolishness.

So, before we proceed to the third noble truth of the discontinuing of the causing of suffering, let’s review. The first noble truth is that suffering is relating to some part of life as if it should not be how it is. The second noble truth is that suffering originates in the belief that there is exactly one way that a particular part of life is and that is the only way that it should be.

Now, by summarizing those two truths close together, the nonsense of suffering may be extremely clear. If there is exactly one way that life is, but then life is not that way, then how can there be exactly one way that life is? Obviously, a linguistic construction of how life is exactly one way is part of life. So, if there is a logical conflict between a linguistic construction (or belief) about how life should be and the actual experience of how life is, then suffering is neglecting the actuality of life for the nonsense belief in words. 

In the Judeo-Christian terminology, neglecting the actuality of life by worshiping a nonsense belief in words is what is referenced by “placing another God before God.” In Muslim terminology, recognizing the actuality of life as distinct from worshiping a nonsense belief made of words is what is referenced by “there is no God but God.” Of course, because language involves codes, various interpretations of the encoded messages in words are possible. However, worshiping language instead of God is the root idolatry. 

Even the phrase “literal interpretation” is ironic because if something is recognized as an interpretation, then interpretation implies the use of symbolic codes of language. How can there be a “literal symbolism?” Such idealisms and idolatries are nonsense from the start.

However, nonsense is part of life. Should there be no nonsense? Should there be no beliefs made of words and no words? Should there be exactly one interpretation of anything?

Those ideas fall back in to the same trap of nonsense. It is not that there should be no suffering, nor that there should be any suffering. There either is suffering or there is not suffering. That is all.

So, the third noble truth of the discontinuing of the cause of suffering is simple. To discontinue causing yourself suffering, simply recognize how you have been causing yourself suffering through the inattentive use of language. That recognizing is sufficient to discontinue the causing of suffering. 

In other words, suffering does not need to fixed. Suffering can be distinguished. The distinguishing of suffering results in a relaxing away from the beliefs that cause suffering. Once the beliefs are distinguished as nonsense, no additional beliefs are required to replace the presence of the prior beliefs. More beliefs will only bring more suffering.

To review again, the first noble truth is that suffering is relating to some part of life as if it should not be how it is. The second noble truth is that suffering originates in the belief that there is exactly one way that a particular part of life is and that is the only way that it should be. So, the linguistic belief that there is only one way that some part of life should be results naturally in relating to one or more parts of life as if they should not be how they are, which is suffering.

Further, the third noble truth is to discontinue causing yourself suffering by simply recognizing how you have been causing yourself suffering through the inattentive use of language. Recognize the power of language and you will never worship any beliefs of language. You will be free of the suffering caused by the inattentive use of language.

So, there is no single way that life should be. There is no single way that anyone should be. There is no single way that I am. There is no single way of labeling life with language that is the only possible interpretations. All of those constructions in language are nonsense. Many interpretations in language are possible.

As for the fourth noble truth, the way to live life after suffering is basically to be attentive to language. Do what you must do. Do what you can do. Do what you should do. Do what you will do.

Now, there may be other interpretations of these four noble truths. Since these four noble truths are just symbols made of language, why shouldn’t there be multiple interpretations?

Is there exactly one way that the four noble truths should be? Is there exactly one way that the four noble truths are? 

Are there exactly four noble truths? Are these noble truths even true? What if there is no such thing as a noble truth except as a symbol in language?

If someone says “attention to language makes no difference,” so what? If someone challenges you with a nonsense belief made of language, so what? If someone says that their nonsense belief made of language is not a nonsense belief made of language, so what? If someone says that idolatry is not idolatry, so what? If someone says that their language is not idolatry but some other language is idolatry, so what? If someone says that there is no such thing as freedom, so what? If someone says that there is no such thing as language, so what?

Remember, when nonsense is recognized as nonsense, nonsense cannot cause suffering. Only believing in nonsense can cause suffering. So, one can play along with someone else’s beliefs or not. If someone is speaking the language of suffering, you can speak in that language as well, yet is there another form of language beyond suffering? Also, is there another form of interacting beyond the use of language?

dead zen master criticizes the four noble truths

September 17, 2010
the Zen master Ummon.

Image via Wikipedia

Dead Zen Master (Sir Buckminster Goodandeve) criticizes the four noble truths (of Neocon Buddhism)

Mar 8, 2009

this video is awesome:

1. Here is the distinguishing of the experience that life is struggling.
First, I know what is right and what is wrong. If you doubt it, just ask me.
Further, I even know who is right and who is wrong. Obviously, anyone who disagrees with me or is even merely unconvincing in their agreement… is a big f*^!ing hypocrit!
Then, quite suddenly, someone who I thought was right turns out to be wrong- but I’m sure of course that this is just a singular exception. It had to be.
Soon, even things that I thought were definitely right may start turning out to be wrong. I, who by the way never ever would do anything wrong, may even question whether some of the things that I have done might have been wrong- maybe I said the wrong words, or used the wrong tone, or, uh oh, I almost wore the wrong shoes!
Maybe it is wrong for me to be agonizing like this so much- or maybe not: maybe I am not agonizing enough. Well, I’m just going to have to think about that for a while. Yeah, see, maybe I am just agonizing the wrong way.
So, my experience has been that life was an agonizing or a struggling… between order and chaos, clarity and confusion, right and wrong, good and evil, the light and the dark, the masculine and the feminine, the almighty who is all-powerful beyond any competition and the one being who may actually be more powerful than the almighty. By the way, I’m absolutely sure that no one else has had this experience, right, because this would be entirely the wrong experience to have, too, won’t you agree… please? Oh, listen, before you answer, remember that I really don’t want you to make me kill you.
2. Here is the distinguishing of the cause of the experience of life as struggling.
First, identify with concepts of how life should be. Second, identify inconsistencies between how life actually is and the concepts of how life should be. Finally, struggle to make life from how it should not be into how it should be.
Whenever that always fails, hey, tiger, just keep struggling to produce different results with the same method, or, if the old concepts of how life should be ever lose magnetism, simply find or create some new concepts of how life should be! Now, after confirming that the same method produces the same results, always act very surprised (again).
Blindly apply this methodology to people in your life, your activities, businesses, your social networks, governments, churches, media, your pets, your hair, the weather, the economy, the planet, and, ultimately, yourself. Don’t forget to always struggle to make yourself into what you are not. After all, otherwise, God will condemn you to a living hell of eternally struggling in vain to save yourself… from reality.
3. Here is the distinguishing of how to end struggling by divesting from the cause of struggling.
Struggling is a something that I have been doing. Whenever I notice that I have been producing the experience of life as struggling, with me in the central role of the heroic struggler, I threaten to fire myself. Ah, but I’m really not a quitter, you know!
Wait, I could actually just stop, aren’t I? Didn’t I?
It couldn’t have really been that easy, wasn’t it? Yes, I’m absolutely sure that I’m always right, at least about this?
4. Here is the distinction of how to experience life as it really is.
Next, notice the way that life now is speaking and happening and so on. It’s totally fascinating, aren’t we?

************“Life is not what it’s supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” Virginia Satir (1916-1988)

P.S. a similar piece:

mundane applications of a “zen fool:”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 756 other followers

%d bloggers like this: