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Reader comment on Bertrand Russell's passage ...

Individual and Social Ethics


On Dec 24, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

 
We had another incredible Wednesday at the Kindness Temple and the presence of a surprise guest. Hermano Somik, once again, has done a great job summarizing many of the highlights --if not all of them! A poem flowed through me on Thursday, right after I read Hari's interview done by hermao Ricardo. Then, I mixed it with these three points.
 
1. A Harmonious Life.
2. "Yes" and "Thank You" :-) the Guru is Everywhere. 
3. Nonviolent Roses
 
1. A Harmonious Life.
Bertrand Russell has been one of the most influential philosophers of my life. His love for humanity and critical thinking helped me to move one step forward in the path of finding truth during my years in the so called "scientific community". The bold Russell-Einstein Manifesto against the atomic bombs, converted him in one of my "gurus". But perhaps what captivated me the most, was his way to connect the heart and the mind:
 
"A good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge."--Bertrand Russell
 
It is unbelievable how in the intellectual arena many times we forget about the heart. He had a great secret of Nature to share with the rest of us, so that we can cultivate our citizenship of the World. And I did. Now, that the guru is dead, his quote can be improved by saying:
 
"A harmonious life is one inspired by love, guided by knowledge and experienced by wisdom."
 
2. "Yes" and "Thank You" :-) the Guru is Everywhere.
It was very touching to witness the great devotion and love that Hari feels for his Guru. He shared with us:
 

"If you have the fortune of living with a Guru, a true master, at the end of the day, you only have two statements: 'Yes' and 'Thank You'. 'Yes' to his instruction, guidance and mission and 'Thank You' for the opportunity and his infinite blessings."

Someone asked Hari where people with no Guru fit in his philosophy of life. He answered that we all had a Guru at our personal level: our own conscience. At another level, Nature is also our great Guru. In this way we have many layers of Gurus. I found this spiritual translation very useful and it reminded me something I shared in a Wednesday about the principles followed by Mother Nature:
 
"Is organized bottom-up; rewards cooperation; promotes diversity; is about interdependence; is about resiliency. And there is a very important part we cannot forget. It is the part where we say thank you. It is the part in which we remember to be mannerly towards the rest of the natural world, to say thank you for the ideas that they gifted us with."
I tried to ask Hari about these principles adopting a very cool visualization he used but my metaphor didn't seem to work. He said something like "we all are like tiny light particles moving towards a very luminous body as bright as billions of suns. We should feel humbled by the power and beauty of this immense light that is so much powerful and brilliant than a tiny particle with light. That's how we should feel about us and our Gurus." I felt somewhat compelled with this scenario, and I asked what were the "Maxwell Equations" that govern the path of these particles? In other words, there are multiple paths for massless photons and charged particles to move towards or from, let's say, a star. But the speed of light is constant; an accelerated charged particle will create a magnetic field and light; a magnetic field, in turn, will affect the trajectory of fellow charged particles and so on.  The group of particles and photons might disappear from any given moment, but the principles, those are eternal.
 
I made this comparison to bring up that Gurus are powerful and inspiring because they are the embodiment of the principles of life. And still, there is a natural limitation: we all are in these sacks of cells. As I argued in this other Wednesday

"In our awakening phase, first, one might be loyal to a creative-courageous individual, but that loyalty should, in due course, grow into commitment to principles, where the intermediate phase, the bridge, could be a commitment to the community of like-minded/hearted people. That is, for (r)evolutionary purposes, respect for an individual, must be replaced by respect for a group of individuals. If there is no love, respect and commitment for the posse, there would be dissensions and unresolved conflicts within it. Loyalty to an individual should thus advance to commitment to the community of the like-minded/hearted and from that to commitment to the principles. Perhaps this is what the Buddhists mean when they say: 'I take refuge in Buddha. I take refuge in sangha. I take refuge in Dharma.'

Love for an individual or for a group is shaky. There most eventually be a commitment to principles. Then, the fractal of Nature and the Universal Love will take care to spread the principles from the infinitely small to the infinitely great. That's why, from my perspective, we are part of this exciting movement that started ~3 billion years ago on this Planet, where life has learned over billions of years the advantages of cooperative, locally rooted, self-organized enterprise, in which each individual organism is constantly balancing between individual and group interests."

I think/feel that the solution of this Guru(less) paradox comes when we walk the walk. When we embody the principles of life and master the art of practicing them in a moment-to-moment basis. That's why I say that the Guru is everywhere! Take a look at that beautiful heart of (y)ours! ;-)
 
3. Nonviolent Roses

Blooms fostering divine physics and harmony
one pollen grain at a time
kind-fine dust of merits.
True satyagrahis who feel intensively the Universe of Love
and act accordingly in profound positive influence.
Without action, without scent, our supreme beauty is incomplete.
That’s why our roots are ruthless honesty, ruthless courage
to clean the home of our heart-mind flowers
and be ready to host saintly pollinators.

Leaves of internal prosperity, no false thoughts
catching, in stillness, the unconditional gifts of billions of suns.
Our sharp resilient thorns of holly satyagraha
are tributes to challenge injustice
and its greedy hands: ignorance and totalitarianism.

Some might try to harm us
attack our soft colorful petals and even violently crush us
but in the process, as Nonviolent Roses,
How could our sweet indomitable fragrance not be offered?
How could we not be kissing their lungs and minds
with a fearless smell to remind them about our exquisite oneness
and the indestructible flow of the human spirit?

It is our nature not to like them but to love them.
Let’s intoxicate them with pure love and critical inquiry!
The immortal nectar will be absorbed in their blood.
We might become generous molecules in the stream or Service and Truth.
Sooner or later, Beloved Angel, we will reach their heart
and there will be no “they” anymore
only understanding.

We can never be crushed because
the aroma of courage, love and compassion
is our signature, legacy, testament and last breath:
“we love you, we forgive you, we bless you…
we are one.”

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho



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