Where are we better off? What do we want? How can we maximize our profits and minimize our losses? What's in it for us? These are not the questions. What is happening here and now? What needs to happen in response? What does this situation call for? What can we do about that with the specialties, gifts, virtues, and shtick we have to offer? What do we need to find what we need to do what needs to be done? These are the questions. Asking the wrong questions has us where we are. Asking the right questions is our path to where we need to be. Enough said.
Carl Jung said the world is in the mess it is in because people don't have anyone to listen to them. We cannot hear what we have to say if we aren't saying it, and we don't say it if no one is listening. Unless we write it out as I do here constantly, all of the time, whenever something needs to be said, whether anyone is listening or not. Knowing when something needs to be said and saying it whether anyone is listening or not is the best thing I do for myself. It keeps me grounded, centered, focused, balanced, in harmony with myself and my context. The problem, or one of them, is that no one asks me questions for clarification, and I am not pushed/invited to say more than I've said about what I'm saying, so I am constantly leaving things unsaid that need to be said, which I would do less of if this were a genuine conversation. How many genuine conversations do you have? Probably about as many as I have. They are hard to come by. Because no one is listening to us, to what we have to say. Two things flow from this: We all need a sounding board. A sounding board is all we need. How to find the sounding board we need is the best trick in the encyclopedia of tricks. But. The next best thing is being the sounding board that other people need. Being what we need is the surest way of finding what we need. Start listening to people-- and learning how to listen is also a good trick-- and that will lead you into the company of people who can listen to you. And that is all we need. Seriously.
Reduce complexity (Also known as "Simplify. Simplify, Simplify). Avoid noise. Make room for silence. Silence takes a lot of getting used to. It is essential that we get used to it. That we make friends with it. That we learn to listen to it, and hear what all it has to say. We have to bear the pain of the silence if we are to find the way and walk the path through complexity and noise to the life that is our life to live. That path is the path from the Garden of Eden to the Garden of Gethsemane. The Garden of Gethsemane is the doorway/threshold to resurrection and new life-- the joy of doing what needs to be done, and the gladness of having done it, but the price we pay is the death of our hopes and dreams and the life we wish were our life to live. The path between gardens is called Growing Up. The silence carries us along the way. To refuse/fail to bear the pain of the silence is to refuse/fail to grow up. The silence asks hard things of us and provides us with all we need to find what we need to do what needs to be done. But we have to trust that this is so and risk everything in opening ourselves to the silence and facing what must be faced in doing what must be done. It isn't called "The Hero's Journey" for no reason. The silence is the source of everything we need to find what we need, but, it is also the wasteland of missed opportunities and lost chances, a horror world of regrets and losses, fear, anger, insecurity and truth. The Jon Kabat-Zinn YouTube videos (shortest ones first) offer direction and guidance into the silence, and recommend awareness without engagement regarding what we find there-- just tucking it into our awareness, and returning to the silence to find what is helpful and grounding. However we do it, the silence beckons and waits. And, we can only find our way to The Way by transforming our relationship with The Silence. Capitalized, The Silence becomes an entity in itself, a reality that is a synonym for the Psyche/Soul within each of us, and the connection with "the guardians and guides," "the wisdom of the ages," that Jung called "the Collective Unconscious," that is both immanent and transcendent, and accessible through The Silence at the Heart of life and Being. This is a different way of thinking about That Which Has Always Been Called God, and it puts us in the position of partners/collaborators/servants of the Numen, the ineffable Other within/beyond us all. And makes what remains of the time left for living, present and available for the adventure of a lifetime-- if only we will be present with what is present with us in a "Let's see what we can do" kind of way.
Being quiet. Hearing what is being said. Seeing what needs to be done and doing it with the gift that are ours to serve and share, sounds, to our ears, like the most boring kind of fare. But. From the other side, it seems to be adventure at every turn. Life, it would seem, is an optical illusion. We see what we say is there. Just saying it in a different language brings novelty to the fore. How different can you make things just by saying what is there in five different languages? In ten? Try looking at something with no words at all coming to mind. Draw it with no verbalization of any kind. Go outside and walk a short distance with no words coming to mind. We cannot see without saying. Our saying biases our seeing. We think about God with the language we have been taught to use in thinking about God. The language prejudices our view of God. No one "sees," "perceives," "meets" God as God is. God is always who God is expected to be. An encounter with the numinous is quickly lost in the words we use to describe "the encounter with God." The raw experience itself is beyond words. We destroy any association with it when we attempt to talk about it. Stop talking. Open yourself to the experience of your experience without saying anything about it. When you eat your oatmeal, just eat your oatmeal. No internal dialogue. No mental drifting about. Just you and your oatmeal. Start with one spoon at a time. Like a baby might do it. Or a mouse. It will change your life.