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Unknown artist

“Never regret anything you have done with a sincere affection; nothing is lost that is born of the heart.” — Basil Rathbone

Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.
― Adyashanti

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”

May Sarton

“The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I’m caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me.” ~ Ram Dass

We have seen in study after study that compulsive positive thinkers are more likely to develop disease and less likely to survive. Genuine positive thinking — or, more deeply, positive being — empowers us to know that we have nothing to fear from truth. “Health is not just a matter of thinking happy thoughts,” writes the molecular researcher Candace Pert. “Sometimes the biggest impetus to healing can come from jump-starting the immune system with a burst of long-suppressed anger.” Anger, or the healthy experience of it, is one of the seven A’s of healing. Each of the seven A’s addresses one of the embedded visceral beliefs that predispose to illness and undermine healing.”
― Gabor Maté, When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Watching the arguments on how to be happy, one can get confused. The school of positive thinking encourages excluding unpleasant or “negative” thoughts. Unsurprisingly, there’s disagreement about the value of that approach by people who emphasize getting to the underlying true thoughts and emotions. I agree that paving those over is a mistake. I notice the release of energy that comes with allowing blocked frustration or anger to arise. Being your strongest self means being your truest self.

At the same time, for me at least, the end result needs to be something beautiful. I don’t think you can create something beautiful without love in some form. Anger is not the opposite of love, hate is.

Our problem is how to be true at the deepest levels of ourselves. We are so covered over in inauthentic ways of being that we hardly know who and what we are. Self discovery is not easy in our society. Appearance is favored over authenticity. Art is one of the few places where we can be real.

Being coerced into an acceptable shape installs anger right at the roots of our identity. All that is false must be painstakingly cleared away to uncover love because only when we live from truth are we able to love. The truth of who we are is the hidden treasure we search for. It’s entirely natural to feel anger if we are preventing ourselves from finding that treasure, because living from truth is the wellspring of any strength we may have in life.

Our culture is not interested in helping you find out who you really are. It just wants obedient drones to keep the machines working. Look how the managers are pushing us back to work even if it kills us. We’re replaceable to them. We’re not a soul to them. We’re a tool.

We have to take stock of our situation. We have to insist upon our humanity. We have to realize that, in America at least, help is not coming from the system. We have to create it ourselves.

Now is a good time to survey our world. Now is a good time to ask pertinent questions about what the culture is, what its foundations are and if we really want to support it. Now is the time to notice how it forms our being.

Becoming real in the kind of society we are surrounded by is no easy mission, but unless we do we’ll continue to contribute to the destruction of life on earth.

If we’re going to create a life worth living we are going to need to find the courage to get real.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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