Burials and Funerals

[cite] Topher:[/cite] ...You kill me, Carl.

... Then I either eat it or I don't. I tell myself that I could have followed either thought and I do at different times.

... If I am going to hang on a taoist site, I could consider communicating from a taoist perspective.
... Well, I'm trying anyway!

... You just made my point vis-a-vis freewill. If you had choice, you would be able to chose with a snap of the finger which way to go. I suppose you could say you do because you think of both paths and then 'chose' one. Neuroscience has tested 'choice' situations, and they have found through MRI (or PET scans?) that the emotional areas of the brain light up before the cognitive areas. Meaning, your emotions chose the path you take, just like any other animal. The mind is more of an after-the-fact reflective sense (our 6th sense). Although, as we are cognitively unaware of what precedes our reflection, we assume the reflection is the actual 'light' rather than merely a reflection. Moreover, we desperately (emotionally) want to have control of life, and that skews our perception even more. There now, I took the bait!

... Oh God, don't do that! This site is 'quiet' enough. So tease and bait away! You give good grist for the mill of my mind. Thanks.


  • edited December 1969
    I saw some of Presidents Ford's funeral a few days ago. First, I wondered what makes his death special over that of a penniless bum who dies anonymously and ends up in a pauper's grave? Biologically speaking nothing - emotionally everything. Our hierarchal social instinct moves us to revere one and ignore the other. But, this is no problem. Of course, we also grieve for anyone who is 'one of us', and ignore those who are not. We care for our own - those to whom we feel attached in some way. This is no problem either, naturally.

    Yet, we often regard favoritism and attachment as being problematic don't we? Non attachment (i.e.,[chref=34]forever free of desire [and] lays no claim[/chref]) and showing [chref=79]no favoritism[/chref] is among humanity's loftiest spiritual virtues which countless people revere to some degree.

    Yet, is [chref=1]always ridding ourselves of desire[/chref] (attachment) the answer? Ironically, when we think it is, we easily become attached to non-attachment. Moreover, trying to [chref=27]abandon[/chref] our hierarchical nature has got to be a by-paths. We are who we are,... so what to do, what to do?

    When all else fails, I find self honesty helps. In this case that means simply recognizing these [chref=2]bad and ugly[/chref] forces within us - attachment and favoritism. Just see it, know it, accept it. Accept it! Accept it? Hmm, that's the difficult part. I suspect the reason we have so much difficulty accepting some obvious things is biological. Once we rationally know a 'problem' exists, emotion drives us to 'fix it'. This gives us a deep subconscious incentive not to see what we can't 'fix' - ourselves. On the other hand, we can easily think up ways how other people can (and should!) 'fix' their problem. This 'passing the buck' also lets us off the hook in a way. At least we are doing something. My motto is, 'If you want to know who's fault anything is, just go look in the mirror'.

    All in all, it is difficult to see ourselves honestly because, in the end, we hate the unanswered, the problem, the unknown, the [chref=56]mysterious[/chref]. Thus, we hold on to our [chref=32]name[/chref], [chref=10]possession, authority[/chref], and belief in our attempt to fill the [chref=25]void[/chref] within. Sure, we like a smidgen of mystery here and a touch there, but no more. Yet, this is all there really is - an eternal problem, question, mystery. Ironically, the way to 'avoid' these is to embrace them. We 'avoid' the mystery by embracing mystery. Likewise, we 'avoid' death by embracing death. Real spiritual 'progress' then hinges on [chref=40]turning back[/chref] to the mystery.

    Alas, our survival instinct will resist us every step of the way. That's why we [chref=53]prefer by-paths[/chref]. No wonder [chref=78]no one can put this knowledge into practice[/chref].
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