One of the things I kept from my religious upbringing was a teaching that said “I give unto men correct principles that they may govern themselves.” Everything can work beautifully when we do not have to rely on others, the government, or laws to make us do the right thing. If each man was guided by a personal integrity that considered not only themselves but the whole of mankind, we would eliminate almost every problem we currently face.
But we don’t, and expecting every person to be evolved to that level is not practical and it has never happened, despite the awesome stories your grandparents tell about how much better everything was when they were a kid.
Throughout history, there has always been pretty much everything we see today. At times it was better hidden than today, but it was there. But our grandparents and to some extent my own generation did have something. We had the general consensus of “the village.” Continue reading
“I ache for shared silence, not the awkward lulls in conversation where we reach for something- anything- to cover the tension of trying to be with too much of the other and too little of ourselves, but the moments of fullness that let each of us unfold and know who we really are. I long for silences with another where there is nothing to forgive or explain or justify, where we agree to abandon quickly spoken words for a time so we do not abandon ourselves or each other, the silences where no one asks me to choose between belonging to myself and being with the world.” Oriah Mountain Dreamer
“In a healthy response to pain and fear, we establish awareness before it becomes anger. We can train ourselves to notice the gap between the moments of sense experience and the subsequent response. Because of the particle-like nature of consciousness, we can enter the space between instinct and action, between impulse and reaction. To do so we must learn to tolerate our pain and fear. This is not easy. As James Baldwin put it, “Most people discover that when hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with their own pain.” That’s why we start by paying attention to the small things, small pains and disappointments. When I start to get into an argument with my wife, if I pay attention I notice that I usually feel hurt or afraid. If I speak to her angrily, she will become defensive and the argument will grow. But if I’m mindful, I can talk about the hurt or fears instead of being lost in anger and blame. Then my wife becomes interested and concerned. Out of this a different and more honest conversation occurs.” Jack Kornfield