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Art by Bisa Butler

“We are faced with a breakdown of general social order and human values that threatens stability throughout the world. Existing knowledge cannot meet this challenge. Something much deeper is needed, a completely new approach. I am suggesting that the very means by which we try to solve our problems is the problem. The source of our problems is within the structure of thought itself.” — David Bohm

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“When I run after what I think I want, My days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.” — Rumi

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Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. — LAKOTA CODE OF ETHICS

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In India a friend observed; “Krishnamurti went beyond the Buddha by revealing the limitations of time and thought as a means of psychological mutation.” — Michael Mendizza

I’m not “one who knows.” I am a student. I reflect on insights, however they come to me. I turn these questions over and over again until they give up some of their secrets. Sometimes that process takes years, decades. I’ll end my days puzzling over some of these questions, for example Krisnamurti’s insistence that we misuse thinking and memory, which wrecks our lives on both personal and global levels.

When you come across an idea like that you watch your mind to see if you can verify it. The last thing you want to do is just adopt someone’s insight as a dogma without examining it. A perception is not the same thing as a belief. Repeating the words without seeing for yourself how it operates in your own mind is of no use, but it’s common.

We hardly know ourselves. In our culture it’s considered morbid to look inward. We navigate by outer coordinates, measuring our progress with socially given yardsticks.

Few people are wise in the ways of the inner world. The human mind is generally unknown territory. Experts in psychology and spirituality still haven’t explained why we humans have trapped ourselves in a death spiral. That question has become more and more urgent to answer. The survival of life on earth depends on how we answer that question.

In a world focused on distractions, we haven’t the time or energy to entertain the question of the connection between the state of the world and how we think. The next stage of human evolution, if it comes, will require attention to human consciousness itself and how it creates the paradigm we accept as normal.

Our minds are powerful. Accepting and maintaining the ingrained habit of refusing to watch and listen quietly to everything, including the constant flow of inner material, traps us in a cage of dead forms and repetitions. Our minds manifest that world physically. It surrounds us so we assume it’s normal.

Competition is normal, war is normal, poverty is normal, indifference is normal, violence is normal. Love is rare. Joy is rare. Why? That world already exists inside us. It’s familiar. If we lived in peace and harmony within ourselves we might not expect to meet such things in the world. We might be shocked by the ugliness of the world as it is instead of accepting it as “the way things are.”

First we have to notice our true situation, and then we have to seriously ask how we got here. Since we are all creators of the world, we then should ask how we contribute to it in its present state.

Our responsibility then becomes evident, to remove our personal contribution. It’s easier said than done, but if we’re serious that’s our task.

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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