Loved every line of this passage. It is so very insightful and powerful. “ recall the good of the wrongdoers “ it is the hardest thing to do when the wound is fresh and hurts like nothing in past. But, forcing the mind to recollect the “ good” that was done and just focusing on it , doesn’t make the wrong go away but the pain gets reduced a bit. With time and practice the pain may transform into a tender sore, a reminder to be gentler going forward, understanding we are all one soul and the “ wrongdoer” is in pain somehow even if it is hidden from them.
" The more raw data we take in, and the less we shape it, the closer we get to nature."
I think the last line says it all. I have been listening to J. Krishnamurti ( Indian Philosopher) and he, very wisely, points out that any thought, any judgment, or any feeling we have is a product of the PAST. This is what this passage is saying too Our thoughts and feelings are shaped by the vast amount of data we have been collecting ( consciously or unconsciously). So, when we make a decision or judgment it is the past conditioning from the Data received.
The only way we can make a change for the future is to change the present by constantly being aware of our tendency to rely on the past. Instead, we need to hold the present with a gentle touch and open mind, then only the future will change. Every moment we have to cultivate observation with curiosity and wonder and not judge by the past conditioning. If we just live in the past then the future will also be just the past.
All great inventions and discoveries happened when someone wondered and curiously inquired,
Famous scientist Richard Feynman once said, " More you know, you realize how little you know." It is the flame of knowledge that illuminates the path. The knowledge fuels the flame, and the brighter the flame glows more we see and we realize how much more there is to know. It is a positive feedback loop; the more we fuel it, the brighter it glows, and the more we realize how much there is to see.
Little kids tell you, " You don't know anything, Grandma; I know everything." But, as they grow up and start thinking and asking questions, we all realize there are more questions than answers. The question is, "How much do we want to know?" and the deep question is," How much can our brains understand"? We have evolved to look up at the universe and ask questions, but the more we see ( using our technology and brains) more intriguing the universe gets. It is a fast ocean of knowledge; while we know its vastness, we can only stand at the shore counting pebbles.
As a young engineer, I could never understand how some people have difficulty comprehending simple concepts. But now I know that our brains and our programming are so unique that trying to judge anyone is a futile exercise. Right and Wrong is a grey scale not just black and white.
Physicist Richard Feynman had said, ( being asked about the origin of the universe) “ There are many questions that we don’t know the answer of and I am ok with it “. Accepting and saying out loud , “ I don’t know” is the first step towards knowledge. It opens the vast vistas of possibilities. That’s where the wisdom and knowledge creeps in
I love the name giftless gift or “ empty gift”. Empty gifts like empty glass was full of stuff of life that is invisible to human eyes but is essential for life. Most of the precious gifts are invisible gifts. The air we breathe, the love that nourishes our souls and the compassion that keeps us sane in this insane life are all invisible ungifts.
When I was growing up , we never received gifts for our birthdays and we never expected any physical gifts. For sure we had the gift of love and a hug and May be a dinner of our liking but there was never a physical object as a gift I don’t think I felt deprived or sad on the contrary I basked in the glow of invisible gift of attention and love.
When I was in high school, I was in love with my chemistry teacher I followed her like a puppy. I arranged her lab, conducted experiments for her students , made H2S for 1000 times always getting the ungift or empty gift of a smile and acknowledgment.
Whe I was leaving for USA she gave me an empty gift of a long hug and said, “ My Saroj will make me proud in a far away land”. If she had given me a physical object I would have lost it in hustle and bustle of life in Silicon Valley. But her empty gift is stored in my heart and even though she is long gone her gift will be my treasure as long as I am alive.
When the fermented shame explodes it not only hurts the person fermenting it but it is devastating to loved ones around that person. The idea, " I am whole, perfect, and complete" is often misunderstood as an ego-boosting self-righteousness that hides the shame of work in progress in the Tupperware and lets it ferment. We are all imperfect, incomplete, and broken, we are work in progress. If we can be compassionate about our own brokenness and if we can see that we are a work in progress then it is natural to accept others and hold them with humility and compassion. Looking inside and working on our own shame by accepting it and being compassionate with it, is the path that leads us towards perfection. "perfection, whole and complete" are on an exponential curve and I don't believe any human can attain that. We just strive towards it. Knowing our limitations gives us empathy and acceptance of others, as we are all one.
Rage and fear are two primary emotions that bubble up when we feel wronged How could they? Followed by Why? And then the fear of being alone. There is also a feeling of not trusting anyone anymore which leads to more fear and rage. It is a vicious circle and the only way out is mediating over the feelings, acknowledging them and letting go.
It is not easy to meditate and pray for the people who wronged us but there is no other choice. The only way to move forward and to let go is to light a candle in the dark and say a quiet prayer.
I am being born at this moment. The process of birth is painful and full of trauma from the past. But, on the other side, I see the light, a ray of hope, and a new beginning. Keeping the beginner's mind and open to all options, I move into the unknown alone but not really alone. I am holding hands with previous karmas and am getting push to plunge in the unknown and make a difference.
Recently I have spent a lot of time with a three year old grand daughter, a puppy and a new born. Just watching them go through daily life is a lesson in pure joy that comes from just being and having very simple minds with no agenda, no show and no outward or inward fear. There is pure joy in just being and having the simplicity of heart, I wish I could learn from them and not the other way around.