When we care about everything, when it all is important, we are lost-- as lost as we would be if we did not care about anything, if we thought nothing mattered. The trick is to know what is important, what matters most-- to care about the things that are primary, that are essential. And to tend those things at the expense of everything else. Or, as Jesus would say, "Let the dead bury the dead." Our place is to know which stone among all the rubble is the cornerstone. Which pearl among the others in the costume jewelry bin at the flea market is the pearl of great price, and which ones are the cheap imitations. Which field among all the fields contains the treasure worth our complete devotion. Our place is to know what's what, and what's not. What's your center and ground? The source from which everything flows? What is your adamantine foundation? The unmovable rock that anchors your life? What is your still point, the axis mundi, the World Axis between the celestial poles, from which you allow the mud to clear and the water to settle-- because you are clear about that? What is your North Star which guides you through the darkness, provides direction, and keeps your boat centered and true on its path through the sea? "Well. I like to snowboard." Won't do it. Our place is to know what will do it, and live from there in all that we do. What will do it, for you? What has proven itself to be worthy of you over the course of your life? Not because someone else tells you it should be, but because you know it is? What do you turn to in time of trouble? When everything you thought was trustworthy dissolves and disappears, what remains? What do you turn to when you have nowhere else to turn? What stabilizes you, secures you, focuses you, guards and guides you? That is what is important. Guard that. Tend that. Serve that. Let everything else fall into place around that. Live from your heart, your center, your ground and foundation, at "the still point of the turning world" (T.S. Eliot). And, if you have no idea what/where that is, sit with the question in the silence, until the shift happens, and something emerges, occurs, arises, appears, that you know to be your guiding principle, and "a very present help in time of trouble." Renew acquaintances. And live from the center. From now on.
"That's a terrible idea, and we are not going to do it!" Can we say that and mean it when and where it needs to be said? To ourselves and to others as the case may be? Do we know a "terrible idea" when we have one/hear one? Can we respond to it as it needs to be responded to? Can we say, "NO!"? Can we take, "NO!" for an answer? Can we be trusted to know what needs to be done in each situation as it arises, and do it-- when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, as often and as long as it needs to be done, because it needs to be done, with what we have to work with, no matter what, all our life long? If so, then carry on! If not, why not?
The most important things have to be taken on faith. They are beyond facts, which themselves can be denied, even though demonstrable (e.g., global warming, evolution). Which makes the most important things as ephemeral as they are ineffable, and subject to derision and ridicule, and capable of being "laughed out of town," dismissed, disregarded, denounced and ignored, like the stone the builders reject, and the pearl of great price, overlooked forever in the costume jewelry bin at the flea market on the side of the road not taken by anyone who knows what they are doing. "Know Thyself" was inscribed on the entrance of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (Along with "Nothing to Excess," and "Surety Brings Ruin"). "To Thine Own Self Be True," was penned by Shakespeare in Hamlet, and makes a fit couplet to the Delphic advice. Both have to be taken on faith, and revered as worthy of both faith and practice. We have to believe they are so, and live as though they are-- because we know their value without being able to prove their worth. How do we know what we know? We have to take that on faith as well. Carl Jung said, "There is within each of us, another, whom we do not know." How do we know that is so? It is true, or not? We take it on faith, or not. And that is the choice that tells the tale. The tale being the life we live, and how and why. I believe there is indeed another within, to whom we owe allegiance and loyalty, troth and faithful service. I believe we owe it to ourselves to be who we are, where we are, when we are, how we are, why we are, for the good of the whole self and the benefit of all sentient beings. And, I believe there will be a reckoning. I believe we will have to answer for the life we live, for the things we embrace and affirm and the things we denounce and ignore. I believe it matters how we live. And that time will tell whether I'm right or not. We only have ourselves to please. But, why not be pleasing? Why not strive to seek and to know what is pleasing, and what is not pleasing, to our own Self? Why not live to Know Thy Self-- and To Thine Own Self Be True? Why think there is something better than that to do with our time?
Evaluate your balance and harmony. This is the balance between The You and The Also-You, or, if you like, the conscious you and the unconscious you (Though the conscious you is really the unconscious you, and the unconscious you, is really the super-conscious you, if you know what I mean). Harmony is a measure of the degree of alignment/resonance/in-tune-ness/ at-one-ment between the life you are living and the life that is yours to live, the life you were born to live, the life you were "cut out for" before you were born. So, how's your balance and harmony? That is the on-going, regularly recurring, quality of life reading. The better your balance and harmony, the higher the quality of your life. You can take a quick reading of that by noting the number and frequency of your addictive/distractive behaviors. We begin with balance and harmony, working to be aware of those, and what we are doing to assist/resist their development. At the same time, we are keeping an eye on our spirit, energy, vitality. How alive are we are in the way we go about our life is an indicator of spirit, energy and vitality. The lower that is over time, the more attention we need to give to what is draining and what is restorative, and counterbalance the former with an increase of the latter. The other eye has to be on our degree of contrivance and our pursuit of personal advantage, benefit, gain and profit-- and how often we do something for the pure joy of doing it and the gladness and satisfaction of having done it. Here, sincerity and spontaneity are the prime indicators of doing it the way it needs to be done. Packaging all of this into our daily routine will transform the way we live and impact our part of the world for the better instantaneously. So, why put it off?