Protecting oneself, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself . . . And how does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By the repeated and frequent practice of meditation. And how does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By patience and forbearance, by a non-violent and harmless life, by loving kindness and compassion. But self-protection is not selfish protection. It is self-control, ethical and spiritual self-development.
~ The Buddha
While Thich Nhat Hanh’s words are of anger, I believe they also apply to today’s uncertainty in that “…we are living in the most fear mongering time in human history. And the main reason for this is that there’s a lot of power and money available to individuals and organizations who can perpetrate these fears.”
…where fear is about danger that seems certain; anxiety is…”an experience of uncertainty.”
If there is a crack in human psychology into which demagogues wriggle, it is by offering psychological relief for the anxiety created by uncertainty…this is where a good scapegoat comes in; for example, There’ us — real Americans – then there are…”**
May equanimity fill the minds and hearts of all this holiday season and end this dangerous game of brinkmanship.
In Thich Nhat Hanh”s book, No Death No Fear, he shares a personal experience associated with the passing away of his mother.
“The day my mother died, I wrote in my journal, ‘A serious misfortune of my life has arrived.’ I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam … I dreamed of my mother. …When I woke up…I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.
I opened the door and went outside. …Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet…wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine alone but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. These feet that I saw as ‘my’ feet were actually ‘our’ feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.
From that moment on, the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time.
When you lose a loved one, you suffer. But if you know how to look deeply, you have a chance to realize that his or her nature is truly the nature of no birth, no death. There is a manifestation and there is the cessation of manifestation in order to have another manifestation.
…If you can stop and look deeply, you will be able to recognize your beloved one manifesting again and again in many forms. You will again embrace the joy of life.” (pp. 4-5)
In remembrance of my mother’s birthday…who passed away April 19, 2016.
…facts alone hardly put an end to [political] arguments. People embrace the facts they want to hear.
‘We don’t behave at all like the ideal picture of engaged citizens neutrally and dispassionately analyzing the evidence before casting their ballot…It’s not how people work.’
…the ‘backfire effect’ [is when] people with deeply held political beliefs double down on those beliefs when presented with facts that contradict them.
Human beings, it seems, have a tendency to engage in ‘directionally motivated reasoning’ – roughly, to draw conclusions based on the evidence that supports the conclusions they want to draw. And in politics those conclusions…seem to be rooted in allegiances as expressions of identity. Your desire to believe, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contracting…isn’t about what’s true. It’s about who you are.*
Jung describes synchronicity as a meaningful coincidence of two or more events, where something other than the probability of chance is involved. …The critical factor is the meaning, the subjective experience that comes to the person: events are connected in a meaningful way, that is, events of the inner and outer world, the invisible and the tangible, the mind and the physical universe. This coming together at the right moment can happen only without the conscious intervention of the ego. …it is as though the psyche had its own secret design…
~The Essence of Jung Psychology and Tibetan Buddhism, Radmila Moacanin
I find myself drawn to photograph people who seemingly are within their own worlds as they wander, interact, mingle within the public realm. Yet, sometimes the eye is drawn towards the amazing abstract paintings light creates within the window canvas.
Seeing Differently is an October challenge proposed by Robyn.