To Amy(Mar 15), so beautifully expressed. I learnt that too late.
Also, I didn't understand why the word "serving" was used for the true connecting Love, because it seemed like something for a "servant", giving a feeling of that mentality.
To me, many people seem deeply broken -- spend a day with me on the streets to feel it. It would do the trick of making me feel better, to trust that life genuinely has a wholesome place for them, but I'd likely be lying to myself then. Emotional barriers&cycles are powerful -- pointing out that everything you need is right here in life for a traumatized someone ignores that an invisible elephant is standing on her/his chest.
Thanx for good reminder to "serve" them instead of helping&fixing.
I learnt the hard way that Love is too hot to handle until one fully decides to treat oneself and others with full respect always. No because anyone Deserves it, and even with all the pain they cause others, but simply as a free choice, because it's the thing to do. You have been "Hurt" and it's an incredible painful path to walk, since disrespecting yourself (and sometimes others) has become a deeply ingrained unconscious habit. The courage to silently say no and step back from the "bad stuff" every time, even if it's offered in a package deal with deeply desired emotional consolation, allows the rest to happen... enjoy while keeping that light-hearted awareness alive in some corner and cry your heart out while you crawl out of the long tunnel to freedom where the Light will shine on you fully and thru all time...
The problem is that one has to be almost 100% non-violent through and through in order for it to be effective. If unknowingly you still have some traces of natural human violent reactions in your subconscious, vicious people can smell it, and they just see you as a coward for avoiding violence.
I practiced non-violence with deepest motivation and commitment, but have been told recently to get in touch with my true inner feelings so here it comes out... my father* is a vicious, cowardly motherf*#$%r (truly!); my subconscious was trained from before I can remember and it doesn't seem to be (fully) following my advice. People say I'm amazingly peaceful and patient, but if someone attacks me in any serious-injury way, that "smash his head in" mode in my brain comes back from "nowhere", even tho I feel deepest sympathy for these idiots too.
*(mental ill guy perhaps?? I can say I only retaliated once ever, punched him in the face and felt terrible about it for years.)
After all, I used to lie paranoid in my bed night after night wondering if I was going to die...
I actively Love everyone I interact with... but don't anymore expect anything more than an imitation of Care from these animals called humans, "loving" when it suits their emotions. (Sometimes I am deeply surprised tho.) I experienced so many of these sh*#s not only in my own family. They belong in a veterinian's compound -- I'm not touched by their "inner humanity". Every animal has a soft side.
So don't know what to do other than... I'm just plotting my own course; if anything I do inspires, I'm totally willing to share...
Really appreciated so many angles in all your comments. And thanks, ulzija. All advice welcome: I'm at <email@example.com> There's no substitute for experience.
I saw the documentary "The Grizzly Man" about Tim Treadwell who sought a non-violent, "loving" interaction with grizzly bears in Alaska. He had many emotional weaknesses, but worked out a way of interaction and lived in the wilderness of Katmai 13 summers before he got killed and eaten. Gotta guess what kind of bear you're dealing with before deciding how to implement your spirit of non-violence.
Thank you. Wonderfully expressed. And by Shradha also.
I have long seemed to practice this. But I was told recently to get in touch with feelings I was unaware of under my peaceful demeanor, to unblock childhood memories. I've been trying, and now I must admit I feel hatred at the thought of every member of my abusive immediate family. So the feelings are opposite to my deepest motivations, and I must accept that and see how things might change.
I have trained myself very well over decades now to not base my actions on my feelings. It feels tho that maybe some of us who had these cowardly haters (I feel deep sympathy/empathy for their own pain, but abhor their reaction to it that they inflict on others) get inside our head when we were too young to understand, may fall to pieces emotionally practising what MLK has so wisely advocated. May need to kill myself to avoid getting sucked into this internal and external violence that the petty subconsious of an emotionally malformed animal demands. So be it. "It must be our blood"
Cried on and on like never before last night. And then see this in the morning?!? If I were to take it personally, I'd say, "How did you know?", well, rereading, I see only some of it seems to apply to me, and some to those near to me. Glad to read all your reflections on its relevance to you, and glad however much we share the boat. Lovely to see it expressed so beautifully in poem.
Methinks boredom may simply be an incentive to do better than what one is currently doing. e.g. if I am listening to a lecture/conversation and feeling bored, I am reminded to become more aware, or leave to do something more useful, or maybe even sleep to get some valuable rest.
I have learned to appreciate and enjoy Gainesville, Florida, which is relatively dull in so many important ways, but I'm glad that something always reminds me that there are much better places to which to move my ass asap.
Sure, it's good to develop the ability to be patient to be better able to address longer term goals. But let's keep alive that valuable warning system that is boredom and impatience!
Seems true that to be happy, just let go of your attachments and be creative and free. I've been trying it, and so far so good. But it isn't something that just gets solved with a single magic "decision".
But this is a primitive goal. What about others while you enjoy your supposedly easily-gained happiness?
Try instead to Love (for the sake of the other, not for your own formula) and the human goal of happiness will become "child's play".
There's no need to forgive if you never hold anything against anyone in the first place. Let's be real about the other and his/her (possibly malicious) intentions as best as we are able to surmise, but then go and treat him/her the best. In a sensible way -- not suggesting to encourage an abuser to abuse more.
(There's a lot of "ego-forgiveness" going around: people forgiving mainly to free themselves from the burden of resentment. I have faced severe abuse and dealt poorly with it for a long time but, c'mon, if the other is someone too, just as I am someone, even if (s)he has just done something (maliciously) foolish... Why be so locked into the little finite human form I inhabit?)
Humility redefined here. True humility largely ignored. Yes, there is some wisdom to be found among Kushner's words.
A read thru the full interview reveals more of the primitive motivation that guides Western religious thinking. Desperation to find MY life meaningful... inventing whatever it takes to create an illusion of such. How about, instead, a truly honest and humble search taking the risk that, even after much travail, one might not find anything?
Thank you, Sukh, for sharing those thoughts so honestly. There are many yous and mes out there who would not judge and reject you if you share your full self. Those I have met are infinitely more wonderful than "acceptance by society".
Most people shy away however because either they don't want to be dragged down by someone who feels sorry for him/herself or/and it reminds them of their own pain and weakness or/and because empathy hurts. (I have just about no fear of pain, and I manage to live with the awareness of how much suffering there is in the world, but somehow recently when a girl, full of anger at the world, sat down opposite me at lunch and shared how she had been raped and battered, I felt somewhat shaken for a week, even tho I'd heard much worse on a plane two years ago.) Most people spend their lives hiding behind their fantasy of reality and don't want it shattered.
Something analogous to try: long distance running, cycling, tough hiking -- I found breaking thru the pain barrier and getting that second wind of strength in these contexts a wonderful building experience. (Just try not to kill oneself in the process!)
IMHO There are many thoughts above that inspire in valuable ways.
I think the apparent hypocrisy of K is a separate issue. I am very free in telling others where I think I have been foolish, and likely self-deluding, but I have not seen K offer us such self-critique in order to avoid misleading thru his example. There's no value in passing judgement on him or jumping to conclusions about his intentions, but we're looking for all clues as to what he meant by his words and actions.
Several of K's statements act as valid criticisms of common approaches. However his words do not tie together as a whole and they ring hollow. The "logic" is flawed. Most truth-seekers seem pretentious to me. I try to be ever more self-honest, questioning myself harder when the answers seem to suit me conveniently, or justify what I do. Why theorize about a grand scheme that I do not understand?
Some key phrases to try to fit together: "living the truth" while being unaware of it. Being instead of becoming, altho moving from reality clouded by various illusions towards reality less clouded.
There are a lot of word games going on, and each of us understands them slightly differently, so I think it remains for each of us to try to fit them all together, or see how they don't fit. I try to finer-tune my ability to "smell" the underlying contradiction or vacuity (outright disproof is usually impossible in the face of possible ambiguity), while still trying to find as much inspiration as I can.