They say that “ignorance breeds fear”. That is certainly true regarding bodily death. Note that I did not say end of being, yet many persons equate bodily death with end of being or a permanent dissolution or cessation of individual consciousness.
What if we could pierce the veil that separates us from the after death state? What if we, the living, could truly know what lies beyond and outside of this life?
Our feature image might be interpreted as atomized souls in the darkness of ignorance.
Always expecting so much from others and even from ourselves, we often fail to value or appreciate the good already present in others in our lives. Demanding much from those around us, close to us, do we thank them and praise them for what they give of themselves?
The sad fact is that people too often fail to give positive reinforcement to those close to them. Siblings in competition with each other for the attention and praise of their parents often tear each other down verbally. Demanding parents scold the pupil who gets high marks because he/she failed to get a perfect score. Spouses require (expect, demand) so much from each other, yet fail to show adequate respect and appreciation for the sacrifices and efforts of the person they married.
The failure to value those around us can do serious damage to these persons. Some more sensitive individuals may be driven to despair and depression if endless demands are heaped upon them over time.
Here is a thought. When your child brings his/her report card home, do not berate him or her for failing to get perfect scores. Instead, offer praise for the good progress and good marks he/she did earn. And, make the commitment as a loving parent to spend more time with them in their homework, or at least take a greater interest in their school activities.
If we fail to invest our love, concern and precious time in the relationships with the persons close to us, we have cheated them.
Let us remember to value others for who they are and for what they bring to our lives; and let us strive to bring good to their lives.
Our feature image was captured out on the street on Saturday, 14 October 2017 in San Francisco.
copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com
Answer: Because our joint income tax returns (both federal and state) are already too complicated now.
Money is needed to live but ought not be made into a false god. A person can blog without the motivation of possible financial gain.
Our feature image is of a dinosaur hatchling found in front of a souvenir gift shop (in Holbrook) on our recent holiday to Arizona.
copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com
We humans often reach back into our memories for special moments that made us feel fully alive or happy or loved, or were very exciting and thrilling, or all of these. Similarly, we “look forward” with eager anticipation to planned events or experiences that are still in the future. Some of the appeal or specialness of these past and future moments for us lies in the novelty associated with the experiences we had or will have. But, consider that each new moment is special even when we are immersed in mundane every day activities.
Consciousness itself is a wonder and a mystery. Life is also wondrous and mysterious even when it is terrible and not joyful. Each moment of life and consciousness can be savored in its immediacy if we focus the mind on the present moment. By consciously connecting with the present, by being fully present in the present moment, we are more fully alive, and to a certain degree more free. The zen practitioners work to train the mind such that it becomes more natural (and easier) for them to be fully present in the present moment. A person can be less of a witness and more a part of the present experience. Perhaps the satori they seek is direct, interpretation free experience – the state of “no-mind”? (Or, for those who read Carlos Castaneda, the state achieved when one successfully turns off the internal mental dialogue within one’s head, when rational thought is suspended.)
In dark moments, a question troubles me. Which do I despair of more: the difficulty of the process or struggle which is life, or my poor choices within the process, my destructive interactions with the process of life?
In a sense, we all make our own personal hells. By not looking at the bigger picture, by having too narrow a perspective, and by not reining in our violent emotions, we make poor choices and harm others and ourselves.
copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com
True freedom does not come cheap. It is not licentiousness as so many people today believe freedom is. True freedom or liberty requires and is inseparable from personal responsibility.
There are threats to individual liberty in society. That is why eternal or ongoing, continuous vigilance is needed to protect and sustain personal liberty in society. The chief threat to liberty through history has been government. One recalls the adage by Thomas Jefferson to the effect that “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Alas, it has always been so in human society. Free people need to seek a healthy balance and strive to avoid harmful extremes. The absence of government would be anarchy and chaos. (The anarchists’ dream is a destructive nightmare that must be rejected.) Government’s drive for power and control left unchecked produces totalitarian states where the citizens are not free, and the government is capricious, despotic and tyrannical (even when the state claims it is acting on behalf “of the people”).
The sun is taking away your life, each and every day as it traverses the sky overhead. That is how some people view the passage of time and of one’s life in this flawed world. Time is fleeting. It may not be of notice to long-lived stars and galaxies, but man is painfully aware of time and its unceasing, inexorable flow from the present moment into the past. One might say that time defines man – at the very least it is a limit, a constraint that he cannot avoid or get around while on Earth.
We individuals are like fragile bubbles of consciousness bursting and fading away after a brief moment in the sea of time. Whether you believe that consciousness continues on a spiritual plane of existence or not, you know that your time on this material plane is short. Thus, it is our individual responsibility to make the most of each moment in terms of living a constructive and loving life.
The sun may be thought of as taking away our life, but it also provides the energy necessary for life. Bear in mind that photosynthesis supports the base of the food chain. As well, physicists tell us that the heavy elements in our bodies were forged (fused) in the nuclear furnaces of now long dead stars.
The following pictures were taken in early February this year in Jaipur (northern India) at the Jantar Mantar.
. . . or rewriting the story . . .
Did you ever read a short story, novella or novel and wish the less than satisfying ending could have been different?! Some readers have been motivated to become writers themselves in reaction to experiencing such disappointing endings to stories.
What about our lives and how they have progressed seen in hindsight? We recall a line from a movie seen a while back on television. A young woman asked an older man what prior decisions or actions he would change in his life if he could make changes. He replied “Everything.” He would change everything in how he had lived his life.