Image by Bence Mate
Why do we suffer? Why so much greed, folly, and violence in the world? The Zen answer is that because our mind and senses deceive us into seeing ourselves as separate from each other and the world, we begin to think “I hate that.”, “I love this.”, “This is mine.”, “That’s yours.” — J’aime ona Pangaia
“The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy,” Hermann Hesse
Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of grief that is conferred upon even the most average life. — David Whyte
Sitting in church as a child and hearing about “the mote in your own eye” was the first time I realized that adults knew about projection, that their judgements of others were probably flawed. Not just flawed, but somehow linked to not looking inward.
Not knowing that we don’t know ourselves, we proceed as if we do, that the fault is out there somewhere. If we can locate the error in someone else, we feel wise, superior.
It has become increasingly clear to me over the years how incompletely I knew myself and just how driven I was by that incomplete understanding to do stupid things. There were times when I was in the midst of some ill fated maneuver that I actually had the thought that it was pretty dumb, but something in me wanted to do it regardless.
Affairs with the wrong person, trips to the wrong places, investments in the wrong businesses, trust given to the wrong friend — I collected “educational experiences.” I didn’t have a talent for staying out of trouble, unlike my brother who had never “made a mistake.” My imagination is fired by possibilities. Practical I’m not.
So, here I am in my dotage, full of wise experience supposedly, yet still ready to get inspired by some wild and crazy plan, like writing on Medium for instance. Well, that’s how I have to live. Is it practical? Will it produce an income? How would I know? My job is to make beauty, to say something that fires the soul of another beauty-lover.
I’m not the guy you want to read if you’re looking for wealth building. There will always be better ways to get ahead than listening to me. All I can do is pose questions about the meaning of why we live.
That’s what I intend to keep doing. That’s my little Stradivarius and I intend to keep playing it.
- Anima Fire is my publication