“We often think of misfortune as some kind of punishment for past evil, a theme that runs through religious thought both East and West … How else to explain the sweet, innocent babies in the children’s cancer wards? If we are not to resort to blind, pitiless, purposeless chance, we need another explanation for the innocence of our victims. Perhaps they are great souls, meeting the huge necessity for innocent victims that our civilization has wrought. “I will go,” they say. “I am big enough. I am ready for this experience.””
“Evil is not only a response to the perception of separation, it is also its product. How do we deal with this implacable, malevolent Evil? Because force is the only language it understands, we are compelled to join it in force … Human beings have been committing horrors for thousands of years in the name of conquering evil. The identity of evil keeps changing—the Turks! the Infidels! the bankers! the French! the Jews! the bourgeoisie! the terrorists!—but that mindset remains the same. As does the solution: force. As does the result: more evil.”
Most of the quotes I have recently posted from Charles Eisenstein have shimmered for me to share with others, this one is more of a bookmark for myself.
“Here is another story from Book IV of the Liezi (translation Thomas Cleary):
Lung Shu said to the physician Wen Chi, “Your art is subtle. I have an ailment; can you cure it?”
The physician said, “I will do as you say, but first tell me about your symptoms.”
Lung Shu said, “I am not honored when the whole village praises me, nor am I ashamed when the whole country criticizes me. I look upon life as like death, and see wealth as like poverty. I view people as like pigs, and see myself as like others. At home I am as though at an inn, and I look upon my native village as like a foreign country. With these afflictions, rewards cannot encourage me, punishments cannot threaten me. I cannot be changed by flourishing or decline, gain or loss; I cannot be moved by sorrow or happiness. Thus I cannot serve the government, associate with friends, run my household, or control my servants. What sickness is this? Is there any way to cure it?”
The physician had Lung Shu stand with his back to the light while he looked into his chest. After a while he said, “Aha! I see your heart; it is empty! You are nearly a sage. Six of the apertures in your heart are open, one of them is closed. This may be why you think the wisdom of a sage is an ailment. It cannot be stopped by my shallow art.””
… and I, after many years of wondering about my inability to experience happiness (even when I am “up”) directly (only through others), have recently begun moving not towards an answer but rather towards a wider question … realizing that I don’t seem to experience sadness (even when I way “down”) either …
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the problem were indeed the greed and wickedness of the dastardly individuals who hold the reins of power? The solution would be so simple then—simply remove those people from power, scour the world of evil. But that is just more of the same war against evil that has been with us ever since the first agricultural civilizations invented the concept of evil to begin with. More of the same will only bring more of the same. Surely the time has come for a deeper sort of revolution.
… Truly, to be an effective activist requires an equivalent inner activism.”
This post was written to bookmark and share an article titled Americas Artificial Heartland
It is almost an important article to read … almost because for me it resonated strongly with Robert Pirsig’s views on Quality (in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and our blindness to it due to a ancient man-made division between what Pirsig calls classical (favoriting structure, logic, sciences, etc.) and romantic (favoriting integration, hollism, etc.) views. The article gives a stark example of this destructive living division in consciousness as it exists today in American society (and from there is spreading like an infection across the planet).
Ironically, the author himself seems to manifest this division. The article benefits from a substantial subject matter. It could have been more clear, concise and penetrating in more plain-spoken language. Instead it struggles to elegantly-twist in complex sentences, fancy wording and redundant poetics and undermining the power of its message.
As I read it I picked out some quotes but when I viewed them outside the whole context of the article they felt fragmented and lifeless. So no shortcuts on this one, if you want to know what its about it you are going to have to read it from start to end.
this came to me via Arthur