“I have heard some people predict that the twenty-first century will be a century of spirituality. Personally, I think it must be a century of spirituality if we are to survive at all. In our society, there is so much suffering, violence, despair, and confusion. There is so much fear. How can we survive without spirituality?” thich nhat hanh
We’ve hit bottom. The cupboard is close to bare. We have deficits we’ve never seen before. Our streets have erupted in violence. We have illness we’ve never seen before. Most of us no longer believe in our press. Most of us no longer believe in Congress to represent us. Most of us vote for President to keep the other guy out of office.
We know we can’t solve our problems alone. We can’t solve our problems by cancelling the other half of our population.
Our universe is like a field, an unbroken, undivided whole.
We live in a world of undivided wholeness where observer and observed are no longer separate
When the total context changes new modes of manifestation are possible.
We are an excitation pattern in a sea of energy.
We live in a world of constant flux, of events, of processes.
What is central is this unbroken, undivided movement.
The self is an abstraction from this movement.
This movement under certain conditions creates structure. Under other conditions dissolves it. We are in the dissolving phase.
We are a process of wanting and desiring and feeling and imagining and thinking and fantasizing and dreaming and perceiving, a constant flux. We are not the product of these processes. We are the process.
Our autonomy is always limited by the law of the whole; we are part of a larger system.
The notion of wholeness means every part is dependent on every other part.
We can divide things up when it is useful to us, but division into parts is always abstracted, lifted, from the whole. The whole is the concrete reality.
The stream that is life can’t be fitted into any fixed concept. We never achieve truth but can only move in that direction.
We do evil when we don’t realize fixed thought programs us to act the way we do.
Thus we must be ever mindful. We must become awaring. We must become aware that even in defining things, our definitions become a way of looking that causes a fragmentary way of perceiving, of experiencing, of acting that is the cause of our problems. All we have in the end is our mindfulness – our ability to try to look deeply into things, our ability to try to really see, to focus our attention on seeing, our ability to hear, to focus our attention on hearing and to do it again and again and again, to focus our attention.
There is no program or belief system to handle the stream of all eventualities.
Violence comes from our lack of communication. Really listening is the first step in solving our problems. It is only through dialogue that we can create a coherent culture.
New concepts, new ideas, connections come about when we look together at similarities and differences.
When we suspend our preconceptions that make us followers of one perspective or another and engage in free dialogue with ourselves and others, new creative perceptions are possible.
We have a choice. Engage in destruction, violence, or create something new, by thinking, feeling, dreaming it – together. The process begins by really listening, really speaking, participating in dialogue that is free and unfettered.
A zen monk once looked for a way out of this, out of the whole. Is this the door he asked, my way out? Is this the door? In the end he realized there was no way out. We are all part of the Whole. Period.
I think when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Fruit of Knowledge, he was telling them - Perception is Deception - in all things you never see but through a glass darkly now. Recently, I have started to read the books of Thich Nhat Hanh. They help.