Saturday, 20 February 2016

Do not believe in yourself, you are so much more than that (part III)

'The unexamined life is not worth living' - Socrates

Continued from Part II

We are all our ancestors and they are all us. Our physical bodies are merely the current guardians, the vessels that carry an essence which is undying. 

So what does all this mean? Every day we get up, eat, work, relax and go to bed. How does all this talk of stars and ancestors change anything? 

There are three areas where the implications for this kind of understanding are profound - Ego, Death and Happiness.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Do not believe in yourself, you are so much more than that (part II)

'The unexamined life is not worth living' - Socrates

Continued from Part I

Just as the droplets of water that flow in the river and the flowing river itself are one and the same, we too cannot be separated from the universal whole.

This is a profound realisation. We can start to see that we are not separate from other humans, we are all expressions of the universal intelligence. We are like water droplets in the river, all moving in different directions but all part of the whole. 

In fact, we are not separate from any other living thing or indeed any other thing. There is really no separation, just different forms, different ways of organising one universal intelligence. This is what mystics mean when they talk of oneness of being.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Do not believe in yourself, you are so much more than that (part I)

'The unexamined life is not worth living' - Socrates

Who are you? 

Beyond job titles and family roles, beyond places of birth and ethnicities, beyond gender and sexuality, really, who are you? Who are we?

Some think that this is too hard a question, that we’d need to study philosophy for the rest of our life, or to renounce the material world and become a wandering mystic to ever find out. 

Maybe it’s just one of life’s great mysteries and pretty much irrelevant anyway. 

A journey of exploration
Others think differently, they think we can all embark on a journey of exploration to find out who we really are. Perhaps discovering the nature of our true self can have profound implications for living a meaningful and happy life.

What would happen if we stopped believing in our 'self' and tried to discover who we really are? 

We may well get a big surprise. We may realise that our true nature is very different from the ideas of self that we inherit from our family and society. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Everything We Need to Know

The wonderful Hokusai Says which perhaps encapsulates everything we need to know about living.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Learning from the Imperfect

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." - Salvador DalĂ­

Remember that whole month when you were just perfect? 

Those thirty long days when you made all the right decisions, achieved everything you planned, and were compassionate to everyone and stood up for all the things you value. 

That month when you looked amazing every day, ate the perfect food and trained like an athlete.

Perfection is pretty hard to come by, even for thirty days. Still, like many people, I've found myself unwittingly looking for perfection in others. 

Not from those I interact with on a day-to-day basis, we all know everyone makes mistakes and we're used to dealing with the little (or sometimes big) inconveniences that can cause.

But when I was looking for inspiration, or for people to learn big life lessons from, I realised that I expected those people to be perfect. I reasoned that I wanted to learn from people who had fully mastered every aspect of life, so that I could learn how to master every aspect of life.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What if trees thought like humans?

"There is nothing permanent except change" - Heraclitus

It is early springtime and already the days have started to get noticeable longer. Nature is waking up, not least the trees. Tiny buds on their barren boughs are starting to swell. Before long they will burst open revealing fresh, bright green leaves and the first blossom of the year. 

But it wasn't always like this. A few months ago, disaster struck. Foliage started to wither, die and fall to the ground as temperatures plummeted and the days became dark. The trees were stripped of all life, leaving behind what appeared to be an empty, lifeless shell.

Wouldn't it be interesting if during this seasonal cycle trees were able to think like humans? I imagine the thought process going something like this:

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Where people sit like mountains, smiling with indescribable smiles

"Sometimes, we lose our concept of freedom so completely that even though the door to our prison is wide open, we don't go outside." - Unknown

There’s an old story of a young man, who, as he grew, started to cause a great deal of disquiet in his village. He spoke of strange, far off worlds, worlds very different to anything anyone had ever heard of. 

He spoke of worlds where the sun, trying to savour every moment, grazed the horizon all night long, casting shadows over people that never slept. He spoke of great oceans surrounded by hills of sand, of salty spray carried on the wind beneath skies of sparkling jewels. He spoke of ancient people of orange and red who sat like mountains and smiled with indescribable smiles.

All this talk started to cause a lot of disruption. Some thought he just had an over-active imagination, some thought he was trying to trick them, and for a few, his words seemed to awaken something within them, although they weren't sure what it was, and so they became afraid.