An entirely new view

One must remember how fascinating the most ordinary everyday things are to a child, because they see them all as marvelous – because they see them all in a way that is not related to survival and profit.

When we get to thinking of everything in terms of survival and profit value, as we do, then the shapes of scratches on the floor cease to have magic. And most things, in fact, cease to have magic.

So therefore, in the course of nature, once we have ceased to see magic in the world anymore, we’re no longer fulfilling nature’s game of being aware of it. There’s no point in it any longer.

And so we die. And, so something else comes to birth, which gets an entirely new view. And so nature’s self-awareness is a game worth the candle.

~ Alan Watts

Why living off-the-grid is so hard

Medieval society, in the west, comparable to Hindu society, allowed people to check out of the game. It revered and encouraged hermits, monks, nuns of various typed of discipline. This is not encouraged in contemporary society. Insecure societies are the most intolerant to those who are non-joiners. They are so unsure of the validity of their game rules that they say “everyone must play!”

Now that’s a double bind. You can’t say to a person “You must play!” because what you’re saying is you are required to do something which will be acceptable, only if you do it voluntarily. So “everyone must play!” is the rule in the United States and almost all republic governments. That kind of society, watch out for it! It turns in a quick click into fascism because of it’s terror of the outsider.

Now a free and easy society loves outsiders and takes care of them. In our present world, you cannot abandon nationality without the greatest difficulty. People who try to abandon nationality get constantly deported from one place to another. You must belong to this thing! as Thoreau put it, “However far into the forest you may go – men will pursue you and compel you to belong to their desperate company of odd fellows.”

~ Alan Watts

Cut from the same cloth

‘Israel’ in Hebrew does not mean a land or a nation. It literally means ‘he has struggled with God.’ It means exactly what ‘Jihad’ means in Arabic: ‘Struggle for God.’

These sacred words do not refer to a patch of land, or to a religious war. Only the adolescent mind of the fundamentalist would so reduce and impoverish their meaning.

Both terms describe our inward struggle to lift the human heart beyond the ego, toward the beauty of the divine will, the will for peace and justice.

~ Fred LaMotte

Perception, separation and anger

Watch how your mind judges. Judgment comes, in part, out of your own fear. You judge other people because you’re not comfortable in your own being. By judging, you find out where you stand in relation to other people. The judging mind is very divisive. It separates. Separation closes your heart. If you close your heart to someone, you are perpetuating your suffering and theirs. Shifting out of judgment means learning to appreciate your predicament and their predicament with an open heart instead of judging. Then you can allow yourself and others to just be, without separation.

The only game in town is the game of being, which includes both highs and lows. Every time you push something away, it remains there. The pile under the rug gets very big. Your lows turn out to be more interesting than your highs because they are showing you where you’re not, where you have work to do.

You just say, “Thank you for teaching.” You don’t have to judge another being. You just have to work on yourself.

When somebody provokes your anger, the only reason you get angry is because you’re holding on to how you think something is supposed to be. You’re denying how it is. Then you see it’s the expectations of your own mind that are creating your own hell. When you get frustrated because something isn’t the way you thought it would be, examine the way you thought, not just the thing that frustrates you. You’ll see that a lot of your emotional suffering is created by your models of how you think the universe should be and your inability to allow it to be as it is.

~ Ram Dass

The contentment of the witness

Renounce the tyranny of positive thinking. People who only talk about success, abundance, and joy usually want to sell us something.

There is grace in loss, sorrow, and bewilderment too. Breathe through tears, troughs, shadows. The seer of light is the seer of darkness.

The nectar of seeing is the sweetness. The moment I abandon my preference for the full over the empty, the void is a voluptuous rose.

~ Fred LaMotte

Family camp

Oh, these vast, calm measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest!

Days in whose light every thing seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.

Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day;

…whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.

~ John Muir

Sacrifice

Everyone’s talking about the sacrifices they’re making in life.
Let me tell you about the type of sacrifice I’ve chosen for myself:

I’m going to break the chains of injustice,
I’m going to untie the ropes of the burdens on people,
I’m going to seek freedom for the mistreated and the oppressed.

Ever heard of a yoke they put across the necks of animals back in the old days, so they could pull plows and heavy loads?
I’m going to break every single human yoke I find in this world.
I mean, what else are we supposed to do?

Shouldn’t you share your bread with the hungry?
And, help poor people get out of the cold and rain?
When you see someone with worn out clothes,
shouldn’t you help them get some new clothes?
We’re all just variations of each other.
Why are you hiding from members of your own family?

~ Isaiah 58: 6-7