The most important thing to be right about is what response is called for here/now? The most important thing to do is the response that is called for. Moment by moment, in each situation as it arises. Jesus and the Buddha together could not do better than that.
People want their circumstances to be happy-producing. Happiness is an orientation, not a steady state of being. Dead is the only steady state of being. Life is one thing after another. Some, we are happy about, some, we are not. We are here to make the best of it all, happy or not. And shooting ourselves in the foot with our choices is not conducive either to happiness or to making the best of our situation. We make the best of our situation when we meet it with our original nature and the virtues we are born with no matter what, without the stipulation that it make us happy. Just get in there and do what needs to be done when, where and how it needs to be done, and let that be that. Time after time. For the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it, and let that be happy enough.
We do not know what life is or how it is generated, or if it is co-existent with inorganic matter, or if it is a precondition for inorganic matter, or... The questions swirl into the distant regions. "Darkness within darkness, the gateway to mystery" (Tao Te Ching). We live within that mystery, unimpressed by it. The unimpressed part is a greater mystery than the mystery part. How can we walk around not being awed into silence and wonder? How can we be content with explaining anything, with understanding anything as though we know what we are talking about, when we do not know how organic comes from inorganic, or if it is the solution within which inorganic drifts suspended? And then, there is death, and what happens after we die. We should just shut-up and sit agog. Agog should be our steady state of being. Instead, we dismiss mystery and live in devotion to drugs, alcohol, sex and money-- as though that means something. Agog would mean more, and it would be honest. Recover the mystery! Relish the numinous! Be aglow with the radiance of the ineffable! Bring wonder to life in your life! And, sit agog for a while every day.
3 thoughts on “June 04, 2022”
Jesus and the Buddha were that. Choices. Made with love wisdom and power. The Holy Trinity.
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Hi, Jim –
I try to do this every day after reading similar words in your poem of the day:
Just get in there and do what needs to be done
when, where and how it needs to be done,
and let that be that.
Time after time.
I hope this is the kind of action you’re suggesting – I wrote this to Robert Hubbell when he asked for comments from subscribers about the recent Uvalde gun violence:
SandyNC287042 min ago
In a recent article in daily email from “Chop Wood, Carry Water,” Jessica Craven quoted an Elizabethan era poet and critic named Matthew Arnold:
Astonishing things are not accomplished by astonishing means.
All astonishing things are accomplished through ordinary means.
I found this encouraging. Jessica Craven’s daily emails provide scripts for phone calls to our Congressmen, the President or other people in charge of various policy centers. Recently, I’ve tried to be consistent in sending emails to my Senators etc. using these scripts. Eventually, it ends up to be quite a few – just done bit by daily bit in a daily habit pattern. I hoped my emails would eventually add up with others to bring impact on legislation on our behalf. I was shocked to receive a phone call from Senator Thom Tillis’ office from a very nice gentleman who said he would make sure my email reached the Senator’s desk.
This phone call was very encouraging. It made me realize that just my little-bit-by-daily-bit emails, along with other peoples’ emails, do have an impact on our legislators.
We cannot give up. We don’t have to swallow the elephant whole. I have been stressed that I don’t have the energy to devote to EVERY single critical issue of our times. I decided to just do my daily response to Jessica Craven’s “Chop Wood, Carry Water” emails and be content that I’ve been doing my part. The phone call from my Senator’s office just put an exclamation point to my feeling of “good job!” – whether or not he chooses to vote along with my requests (probably not, because he’ll vote in step with his Republican cohorts).
(Not looking for a response from you – just wanted to share the impact your words have on my daily actions).
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Beautifully said/done! This is the Great Work! Making the phone calls, washing the dishes, walking the dog, chopping wood, carrying water, when and where and how it needs to be done, day after day, not out of habit, but attentively as though participating in a ritual–a ritual of life and wonder, offering our best to the ordinary things sanctifies them, the moment, us, our life. We make the ordinary holy by the way we hold it, behold it. Carry on! Carry on! And thanks for your note!
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