Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cool your jets, baby girl

I am, by nature, just WAY too concerned with justice.  I believe that is a form of mental illness.  The world is exactly as it is at every single moment, and banging your head against Reality is simply not healthy.

I was raised in a conservative household, one that was entirely centered around the religious beliefs of my parents, Seventh-Day Adventists.  Even within their community, they were considered conservative.  They were fundamentalist's fundamentlists.  They taught me that because I was born with many talents and abilities, into a comfortable home and a family that loved me, I was responsible to take of those less gifted, less fortunate.  But one has to be careful not to try to change the world too hard, with too much effort.  And one has to be careful lest that desire for equality and justice prevent the experience of peace.  We were intended to live in blissful peace, "as above, so below."  "God is love."  "The peace that passeth understanding."

So how am I supposed to accept the harshness of the world?  The natural way is for animals to eat each other.  Why should I be surprised when people act the same way, using and ultimately crushing others so that they may have even more money than they already have.  Humans don't even have the excuse that they are doing it for survival.  They need very little to survive and even to live very well.  But the world is what it is.  There is no arguing with reality.  And that is the heart of the matter.

It doesn't mean I shouldn't try to make conditions better for all those who are oppressed or downtrodden.  But I must work with great discipline to remain happy and light while I do so, accepting everything as it is in every moment.  Lao Tzu, my favorite "old child," would say that there is no need to change anything.  Everything is as it should be.  It is all perfectly itself, not perfectly what I wish it to be, but perfectly itself.  And that is the way of the Tao.  If I am truly an eternal spirit, what does it matter what the physical conditions are on this Earth?  It doesn't ultimately matter.  It seems to matter, but it doesn't in any ultimate sense because we are eternal beings who can dwell in infinite peace whenever we really want to.  We will become nothing and then we will arise again and be something, which will divide into itself and Other, and then those two will combine to give birth to the Third of the Trinity, and then those forms will give birth to "the ten thousands things," all that exists.

The universe breathes, life begins.  The universe exhales, life ends.  The Big Bang was just a very large breath in and then out, one cycle of the universe's breath.  The universe is so large that we have only seen one cycle of it's breath, it moves so very slowly from our perspective.

Then why do I care whether people act justly on Earth?  All I have control over is my actions, what I say, how I treat people.  If I am bothered when some people seem not to respect others, then I can take that energy and examine myself:  Where do I not show respect to others?  If I am upset because the rich abuse the poor to get even richer, then I must look to my own life and see where I make choices to buy products from companies that enslave people to make a profit because it makes life easier for myself.  It's simple:  I don't need to buy those products.

I want to take Byron Katie's course so that I can help teach my patients how to "Love what is" so that their life will be peaceful and joyful instead of worried sick.


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