jump to navigation

Do What You Will April 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Spirit & Ego.
add a comment

Even if we aren’t planning to ride a silver broomstick anytime soon, this song is designed to remind us to be who we really are . . . so that we can more fully enjoy all that life has to offer:

You are unique, there’s no one else like you
Recognize that individuality in everything you do
What you need to be happy is for you alone to decide
No one else has sufficient perspective on how you feel inside
~ How do you feel inside?

Do what you will, act as you please
But do no harm . . . so mote it be

Pursue all of your dreams with determination
Exercise your autonomy to achieve your aspirations
Don’t work solely for material possessions
Instead seek the insights gained from spiritual lessons
~ Life is not about possessions

Do what you will, act as you please
But do no harm . . . so mote it be

Celebrate your unity with others, feel the connection
But don’t let that unity change your life’s direction
Allow unraveled edges to bind together
While allowing your freedom to blossom and feather
~ Watch it blossom and feather

Do what you will, act as you please
But do no harm . . . so mote it be

Live each day as if it were going to be your last
Don’t have regrets when you consider your past
Be the who you really are, the who you want to be
Enjoy all life has to offer, strive to be happy
~ Strive to be happy

Do what you will, act as you please
But do no harm . . . so mote it be!

Finding Our Place In The World ~ Part 3 April 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, People.
2 comments

Continued from Finding Our Place In The World ~ Part 2

* * * * *

Our young man continues to evolve.  He still argues, and competes with others, but he also learns to cooperate and lend a helping hand.  He learns that he no longer feels good about getting the biggest piece of the pie, if others around him are hungry. 

He sees that offering something to the world is usually the best way to get what he really craves . . . inner peace and lasting happiness. 

He awakens to the realization that the happier he becomes in his own life, the more he wants to help others achieve lasting happiness in their lives.  This growing compassion allows him to see and appreciate the suffering in others, and creates in him the desire to help them eliminate unnecessary suffering.  

His pursuit of happiness leads to generosity of spirit ~ but he learns to be generous with the parts of himself that he most wants to share.  

He realizes that time passes quickly and that every moment is precious.  He reflects on what is of value to him, and sets his priorities accordingly ~ and he encourages others to do the same.

At night, lying awake in bed, he looks back over the rapidly passing days,  weeks, months, and years, to see if he is headed in the right direction, or whether a course correction is required.  In the late night quiet, as he reflects on who he is, he drifts off to sleep with a smile ~ he has, indeed, found his place in the world.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  ~ The Dalai Lama

As a child, our young woman desperately wanted to belong and be accepted by others.  To accomplish that objective, she wore masks to disguise her true essence from the world. 

As the years pass, she grows in self-acceptance, and eventually decides that she is no longer willing to hide her essence from the world.  She would rather be rejected for being herself, than accepted for engaging in a game of charades.  

One by one, she discards her masks and abandons her faux personas ~ the roles she had played to gain acceptance from others.  On a quiet night, after discarding the last of her masks, she drifts off to sleep with a smile on her face ~ thinking, “Who I am is who I want to be.” 

She has, at last, found her place in the world. 

May we all do the same.

Nature does not ask, “what do they want me to be?”  It’s glory lies in its authenticity.

Eine Kleine Zeitgeist April 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Life Balance, Sustainable Living.
10 comments

220px-Pig_roastbeefApathy is inertia in action ~ nothing goes anywhere.

Those suffering from extreme cases of apathy sit around like blobs of Play~Doh, commiserating with each other about the state of the world.

When challenged to do something to change the world for the better, they shrug in resignation at their “fate” and go back to doing what blobs do best.

Nothing.

Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can be aroused by two things:  first, an idea which takes the imagination by storm; and second, a definite, intelligible plan for carrying that idea into action.

~ Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975)

Now, I am NOT admitting to being an apathetic blob of Play~Doh generally, but Saturday morning, when Chad shot the link for The Zeitgeist Movement my way, my general physical and mental functioning resembled “apathy in action,” with certain Play~Doh like characteristics.

Since my analytical brain would have spent its time criticizing and nit-picking every little point with which it disagreed, I just turned that half of my brain off ~ easy to do that morning since it was still sound asleep from Mad Hatter’s Almost Eco-Friendly Tea Party.

I proceeded to read The Zeitgeist Movement with my creative brain and discovered, to my surprise (and Chad’s), that it was the “shot in the arm” that I needed that morning.  The creative vision for the future “took my imagination by storm” ~ acting as an antidote to my apathetic countenance.

In short, I was wowed by the idea of living in a world with no currency, no corruption, no greed, no property, and no politicians . . . especially since the planners promised there would be liberty, equality, and abundance for all.  More on this subject in future posts.

Yesterday, my initial burst of enthusiasm deflated rapidly like a tired balloon because . . . the analytical side of my brain is decidedly less enthusiastic about the project than my creative side.

Paramount of those reasons ~  The Venus Project does NOT have “a definite, intelligible plan for carrying [the] idea into action.”  Instead, it vaguely envisions all countries simultaneously (1) replacing current governments with computers to oversee things; (2) building new robotic cities while leaving the old cities as empty shells; and (3) abandoning money as a unit of exchange, and nationality as a symbol of pride.

Absent some colossal brain-washing scheme, I don’t see that happening even if (a big if) everyone on the face of the planet became convinced that  implementing the idea would be in everyone’s best interest.

Why?

Because we don’t trust one another enough.  We have been socialized to compete, not cooperate.  That distrust is unlikely to evaporate in a single puff of compassionate Zeitgeist smoke.  Especially since some of that competitiveness is hard-wired into us ~ in the reptilian portion of our brains which pre-dates civilization by a wide margin.

The authors of The Zeitgeist Movement disagree, insisting that we are the products of our environment.  They argue that, once we change the environment from greed-based to need-based, we will follow suit.

They are convinced that nurture (i.e., socialization), not nature (i.e., genes), has the most influence over our development.  In support, they cite a few articles, and toss a few treatises around.  But they rely on anecdotal evidence, rather than hard science to support their hypotheses that “human nature” will change in significant measure.

The more my analytical brain considered the issue of getting from here to there, the more stumbling blocks it ran into.  In many ways, it doesn’t really matter whether nature or nurture is responsible for who we are (and how we act) right now.  The fact remains . . . we are who we are.

Even if (another big if) we ALL wanted to change, our egos are not likely to step aside and allow us to change overnight.  Among other things, ego is unlikely to enthusiastically embrace the idea that computers and robots can run things better than we can.  More on this subject in future posts.

In short, the antidote to apathy offered by The Venus Project is not fully developed yet.  There is much work still to be done to complete the second half of the equation.  A creative idea is a wonderful start, but it’s not enough to sustain people’s interest for long.

To achieve our dreams for a sustainable future, we must allow creative ideas to fire our imagination with enthusiasm ~ and then rein in that enthusiasm long enough to create a workable plan to bring our creative ideas into being.

To be continued in Eine Kleine Zeitgeist ~ part 2.

Finding Our Place In The World ~ Part 2 April 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
7 comments

Continued from Finding Our Place In the World ~ Part 1

* * * * *

Our young man continues to evolve as he gets a job, hangs out with friends and loved ones, and interacts with the world.  Like Mozart and Einstein, he may find his purpose early in life and pursue it with passion, or he may have to be patient and experiment with life a bit longer in order to find the life that is the right fit for him.  

Perhaps he’ll get married.  Maybe he’ll become a father and experience the same joy his parents did as they watched him grow to the point that he could “leave the nest.” 

At the end of his journey, our once young man is apt to want to see some evidence that his life mattered, that he mattered.  Maybe he’ll make a difference by working with others to improve the world, or by making those around him happy.  Maybe he’ll compose music which makes our spirits soar, or write something that touches our hearts.

Through it all, he will keep evolving and developing based on the totality of his experiences ~ using pulling muscles to draw closer to some things  and pushing muscles to move farther away from others.    

If our young woman looks over her shoulder, to see how far she has come, she will be able to see a change ~ a change that is imperceptible from day to day and moment to moment, but is clearly seen with a retrospective glance.  She will see that she is not the woman that she was at age fifteen, when getting a date for the Prom seemed like a matter of life and death. 

She may see that her relationships with others have also shifted, at least subtly, and that she likes the feeling of giving as much as she likes the feeling of receiving.  Instead of caring only about her own Wish List, she starts to focus more on the Wish Lists of loved ones.  Instead of just feeling proud of her accomplishments, from the perspective of Ego, she feels good about the person that she is becoming at the level of Spirit. 

To be continued in Part 3.