Reader comment on Thomas Berry's passage ...

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    On Dec 17, 2010 Somik Raha wrote:

    Catherine Todd wrote:

    How exactly do you "meditate" about this, and how does this differ from my "thinking" about this? Or are you referring to regular meditation while "clearing your mind?"

    This question cannot be properly answered :). Here is an approximate answer - when I receive these passages, I try to look out for things that don't make sense easily. That is usually a clue that some more work needs to be done. Then I hear the passage multiple times (the listen link in the beautiful voice helps). Then, I go into meditation (clearing your mind) with a group of kindred spirits (the same that mails out these pieces, and many others who receive them), with some idea of what I'm confused about. In the meditation, depending on how much I'm able to let go, as the mind gets still, things start to become very clear, and the things that did not make sense suddenly start to reveal their secrets. The passage dances into life. There you have it. :)

    What do you mean "protecting the gift of life with the gift of death.?"

    If we were immortal, it would be a curse and not a gift. Imagine the worst tyrants on this earth who keep threatening the lives of others, living forever. Thank God they eventually die. Imagine our saints living forever - there'd be no mystery in the universe for they know it all, and all we have to do is ask. Thank God they die too, leaving us to decide which path we are going to take. And then us. Imagine a lifetime of knowing what you know. When you play a video game and you are finally a champ at it, imagine being told you can't change the game and that is the only game you can play. Huge curse! In India, there was once a hero who was blessed to live beyond his natural age. Others eventually looked down upon this person as taking up resources that would have sustained new life. Moreover, he knew too much and was a big threat to others, for he crossed over to a darker side and was almost invincible. Nature automatically protects us by gifting all of us with death.

    Death makes people rather somber. So, when we talk about death, we should try to lighten up. Here are two that make me smile. First, the lament of the immortal - "When I asked not to die, I forgot to ask for youth to go with it." :) Second, the lament of the mortal - "Youth is wasted on the young." :)

    "The best dancers do not dance..." I understand about "the best fighters do not fight," but not dancing?

    The dance happens - the best dancers get out of the way.

    And then why bring up an example about being "unwilling to dance the dance?"

    For the best dancers to get out of the way, they need to work hard. The hardest work is to do no work. Dancing the dance, initially, involves openness, learning, practice. As time goes on, if one is working properly, one learns that the dance happens, and becomes the dance. The best tennis player does not think very much about which shot to use. The shot happens. Getting there takes time.


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