June 04, 2021

01

Englehard Mooring 10-30-2015 04 Oil Paint Rendered — Outer Banks, North Carolina
Our motive for most of our action
is what's in it for us.
What we stand to gain.
What we can keep from losing.

Since Adam and Eve,
we have been seeking better.
Our motto through the ages
has been:
"NOT This! THAT!"

Ambition, aspiration, incentive,
drive and desire
are the motivating forces
of humankind.

The Buddha and Jesus said,
"Enough of that!"
It didn't get them very far.

The Buddhists sold Buddhism
on the basis of 
the accumulation of merit,
and the Christians sold Christianity 
on the basis of 
getting to heaven and avoiding hell.

Both the Father Shore 
and Heaven/Hell were invented
in order to improve market share,
and provide leverage 
to those hawking the advantages
of their point of view.

The Bottom Line is the only line.
It is certainly the only thing that matters.
The thing that matters most.
Increasing the Bottom Line
is the only reason for living
for too many people.

It is the way government and business are run.

Increasing the bottom line
for everyone that counts
at the expense of everyone else
is the way you get things done.

And, of course, everyone
in government and business
thinks they count
and it is okay to stiff everyone else.

I present you: The World!

My standing with the Buddha and Jesus
doesn't improve my chances.
It is a sad indication of my prospects.

I'm selling sincerity and non-contrivance
in a world grounded on polar opposites:
"Promise them anything to get what you want!"
Or:
"Promise them anything and do what you want!"
Are the mottoes of business and government.

We cannot live like that and be
fully, 
wholly,
vibrantly,
radiantly,
alive.

We cannot live the life
that is our life to live
without changing our relationship
with life the way it is being lived.
And with the people who are 
living that way.

"What does light have to do with darkness?"

What does life have to do with death?

We do it our way
and pay the price.
and they do it their way,
and pay the price.

We all pay a price 
for the way we live our life.

How we live 
in light of what
is the choice
that tells the tale.

–0–

02

Epidonax Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, 05/02/2019 — Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, Starkville, Mississippi
We cannot begin to live--
as in the sense of being fully,
wholly, radiantly, alive--
until we begin to live truthfully.

Living truthfully is living aligned
with our original nature,
from a position of sincerity
and non-contrivance,
responding appropriately to our circumstances
without a motive beyond
doing what needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
here and now
in each moment that comes up.

Living truthfully is living motive free.
We aren't trying to get anything,
gain anything,
we are simply rising to each occasion
in ways fitting to the occasion.

When we live from motives,
we introduce complexity into the situation,
and move away from the center
in striving to force our way onto the moment
instead of simply responding to the moment,
offering what the moment needs
instead of trying to get what we want.

The work to have our way
brings disharmony to life in the here and now,
as we attempt to use the moment
to serve our ends, 
and do not live in the moment 
as an agent of what needs to happen there
which may be apart from 
what we want to happen there.

We are then "out of the flow" of the moment,
inserting our own will for the moment into the moment,
and keeping us from living "in troth" to the moment,
at one with the moment.

Two tennis players are inserting their will for the moment
onto the moment,
but they are living/playing aligned with the here and now
which calls for them to do that very thing.
They are living truthfully in the moment,
aligned with the moment,
being one with the moment--
and the better they can do that,
responding to the moment as it develops
around them,
they are more likely to win the point
than if they allow their will to win
to put them in the position of over-hitting 
their shots,
or trying for a more precise placement
than may be possible in their particular situation.

Their willfulness has to be responsive to the moment,
and cannot get outside the moment, 
beyond the moment,
to force something to happen 
that is inappropriate to the shot 
that is available at any point in the game.

They have to "take what the game gives them,"
and make what they can of it
without overdoing it,
being "too fancy,"
or "too cute."

We have to read the time that is at hand,
and respond to what is called for
in ways appropriate to the moment,
without trying to "push the river,"
and make happen what would be out of time and place.

Living truthfully is living at one with the moment,
with no motive beyond living at one with the moment,
and seeing where that goes.

Experiment with living without a motive
and living sensitive to--
aware of--
each moment and what is called for in each moment,
noticing when you are trying to "over power the moment"
and force to happen
what you want to happen there.

Learn to dance with your moments
in ways that are truthful to the moment,
living there with sincerity and non-contrivance,
and with the good of all concerned at heart,
moment by moment.

Dancers who do that, create together something
neither dancer could manage on their own,
neither asserting their will,
but both willing alignment to drift and flow,
producing radiance and wonder,
moment by moment.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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