I am not searching for my purpose, I am running away from the purpose that is all too obvious. It is the one that says to think small, spend time alone, be present, to let life go ahead on its own, and to not worry about things like purpose, changing the world, or saving the planet. My journey is not to find some grand complex meaning, but to accept the simplicity I already know to be true.
Is there any fundamental difference in expressing yourself through an opinion or through an art form? Both are gateways which allows someone else to get to know you on a more personal level. Everyone loves to argue with your opinion but people rarely argue with a painting or poem. Perhaps the only difference lies in the eyes of the beholder.
A piece of art may be much more abstract and difficult to place boundaries around so you don’t know what it is or what it isn’t. That is why it is more likely to induce quiet observation rather than any type of polarizing commentary.
When I throw an opinion out there I actually have no desire to argue about it. There’s not a single part of me that wants to engage in a battle of wits, or be forced into any kind of defensive posture. My mind may change in the future but only my own terms. I do love hearing other’s peoples thoughts or perspective, but that is quite different than an argument, or being forced to respond to an attack on my point of view.
Could we shift the way we approach opinions by instead looking at it like we look at art, as another form of self expression?
The next time someone updates their status on Facebook with a strong opinion on some topic make the conscious decision to look deeper. Take the perspective that they are simply fulfilling that fundamental human need to express themselves to the world. Our purpose then transforms from closely examining the surface level facts that were presented and preparing a well worded rebuttal, to simply allowing their expression. And maybe, just maybe, getting to know them on a deeper level.
This is why arguments get so intense on social media. You think you are disagreeing with someone’s opinion but what you are actually doing is telling them that they are not allowed to be who they are. That they are not allowed to exist.
No one is going to change their mind in these circumstances. I am convinced that the culture of online debating that occurs on Facebook, Twitter, or even in the comment section on YouTube or news articles are a plague on society. They aren’t helping anyone and are likely causing much harm to everyone involved.
People want to find out who they are, and then express it to the world. We want to express ourselves because then it helps us find people who are just like us. Then by interacting with those like minded individuals we can dive deeper into the experience of who we are. We don’t express ourselves in these mediums to be told that we are full of shit.
Social media is phenomenal in it’s reach, but it is totally misunderstood in it’s true purpose.
That title sounds incredibly odd, and likely insane, but most spiritual teachers will agree that suffering is a very necessary ingredient in self realization. So if I know this, and I have not yet truly realized my true nature, should I pursue suffering?
There are so many things that I can do to ‘feel better’. I can exercise, practice meditation, study cognitive therapy, get massages, play an instrument, or create art. But as these practices create a more pleasant life for myself, am I getting in my own way of realization.
Buddhism in simplest terms is the end of suffering, not the mitigation of suffering. Are these things mutually exclusive? If I pay proper attention does a pleasant life have as much to teach me as an unpleasant one?
I don’t believe I consciously choose to suffer but maybe subconsciously??? Seems I am asking many more questions in this post than I am answering. My ego feels quite like a rookie spiritual seeker here.
As an aside this thought process is coming on the heels of a night where I played hockey for 2 hours for the first time in almost a year and feel fantastic.
Anyways very interested in your thoughts on this! Have a great day!
I love this description of consciousness or awareness becoming entangled in thinking. It provides some beautiful clarity in exactly how I am sabotaging my spiritual journey. Enjoy the video!
Wow! What a fascinating video about how the mind perceives the present moment. Please watch and let me know your thoughts on it.
I saw this quote outside the St. James Anglican church in Manotick on my drive in to work today and I have been trying to source it but without any luck. Regardless of who said it I believe it is particularly relevant now due to the presidential aspirations of one republican in particular 🙂
This video came out just over one year ago and was promoted as a method of connecting with anyone. Basically the concept is that if you stare into someone’s eyes silently for 4 minutes you will create this beautiful connection with them. For older, more established couples, it will deepen or renew the intimacy of their bond.
As I watch this again in retrospect I find that staring silently into someone else’s eyes may be the perfect example of an authentic conversation. A concept that I have recently discussed on this blog.
I believe that living authentically is when your inner and outer selves are functioning in complete alignment. An authentic conversation on the other hand is when this alignment expands to two or more people. And in no way do I believe that words are a prerequisite for this kind of conversation.
Please watch the video. It is quite well done.
These cracked and weakened hands
Wringing this worn out cloth
For every last drop
That wasn’t already there
A desperate search for purity
Yields not but the divine nature of futility
Becoming brilliantly careless
An effortless smile
Erupts into laughter
A servant of humility
Discarded notions of ability
A hint of there-ness
Tickling this moment from beneath my skin
The once cursed silent dialogue of truth
Bathes me in a pool of the senses
Softening my pursuit
So I may be pursued
Hand in hand with my soul
Onwards we march
Part of the reason I prefer to spend so much of my time alone is that everything always feels so forced when I am in the company of others. Every single conversation people have with each other comes with an ego-based agenda of some sort.
Maybe they want to sound intelligent. Or come across as funny. Maybe there is something you have that they want. And maybe even someone wants to cultivate their spiritual identity. Perhaps if it happens at work you want to appear hardworking.
Work can be the worst with those superficial conversation staples: Are you keeping busy? Staying out of trouble? Pretty cold out there! We have to think outside the box!
And when I take part in these conversations it brings that side out within me as well. As I interact or converse with someone my ego is looking to express itself, improve itself, or impress someone else. It is so god damned exhausting.
I would much rather go somewhere and be in silence.
But does authentic conversation exist? Is there such thing as a direct verbal interaction between two souls?
Perhaps this is why I am drawn to spiritual texts. I don’t feel the undertone of any identity based agenda. It has a beautiful way of disarming me. And there is no interacting with a book!
So what is your recipe for surviving the day to day interaction of ego’s? Or perhaps you don’t mind it like I do. I hope the recognition of this complex dance of ego’s is a big step towards transcending it some day.
These are powerful moments when you seriously start to question the most basic assumptions of who you think you are. And very brave of Ronda to make this struggle public.