Just Going Through The Motions?

I don't have children so take this with a grain of salt if you wish. I remember being a teenager, though.

I think you are right, Joe: you can't get her to do anything. Wisdom comes with age and experience and so the best you can do is support her through life's experiences, whatever they are for her, and let her live her own journey.

I remember: the more I was told to go to bed early, the later I wanted to stay up. Till I was living on my own, could stay up as long as I wanted, and went to bed because I needed the sleep.


  • edited December 1969
    Are You Just Going Through The Motions?
    Thought permits our living awareness to cease watching what we are doing 'now', and slip away into an imaginary world. We live in two 'space-times' at once, 'here' and 'there'. We are neither 'here' or 'there' more often that we'd like, and so end up just going through the motions much of the time.

    Civilization only exacerbates this situation. What to do? Just be here 'now', right? That sounds a little like Nancy's Reagan's "Just say NO!" It is a nice idea, but invariably remains in the realm of our imagination. We always come up with new ideas, new slogans, new intentions, new diets, new 'tools' to solve life's problems, and yet...

    We probably have an instinctive sense that 'new' is better. 'New' seems to promise to solve life's core problem, and so we [chref=16]innovate[/chref]. But this seldom if ever works, and we soon end up back where we started.

    In the end we simply need to feel, not think, about what we truly desire. We need to care enough to consolidate our life. Need, and its perceptual cousin desire, drives life. It is like a two edge blade, both helpful and harmful. This usually means dealing with desire in various ways. Some examples include:

    * [chref=1]Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observes its secrets;
    But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations. [/chref]

    * [chref=15]He who holds fast to this way desires not to be full. [/chref]

    * [chref=19]Have little thought of self and as few desires as possible. [/chref]

    * [chref=37]And if I cease to desire and remain still, [/chref]

    * [chref=46]There is no crime greater than having too many desires; [/chref]

    * [chref=57]I am free from desire and the people of themselves become simple like the uncarved block. [/chref]

    * [chref=64]Therefore the sage desires not to desire[/chref]

    Desire, need, care,...words word, too many words. Is there any difference between desire, need, and care (or want, wish, hope, expect, long, hunger, thirst, pine, etc.)? Not at their root I think -- they all correlate. Needs, cares, desires carry us away from 'now', yet, it is also the need, care, and desire to [chref=40]turn back[/chref] that [chref=16]returns us to our roots[/chref]. I suppose we could say care, need, and desire are like life's search light. It all depends on which direction the beam is pointed. Notice the plural and singular use need, care, and desire. It takes singular desire to return to the moment; it is plural desires ([chref=46]many desires[/chref]) that distract us and lead us away. So, do we have any choice in the matter? I guess this brings me to the subject of trapped rats.

    Trapped Like a Rat?
    Well nuts! I can't find the research. Basically, it went like this. Rats are driven to tenaciously find a 'way out'. Only when they realize there is truly no 'way out', do they surrender. In one way or another this probably applies to all life. I know it does for humans. Only when we realize our [chref=53]by-paths[/chref] don't offer a 'way out', do we surrender and begin to [chref=41]practice the way assiduously[/chref]. If that's 'free will', then rats have free will too (which is just fine by me. :) )

    Surrender is a core ideal in all religion, whether that be surrender to Allah, Jesus, our Bhuddha nature, 'letting go', or [chref=61]taking the lower position[/chref]. The words don't matter since they all simply point to a feeling -- surrender. So, if this is the supreme spiritual ideal, how do we do it? This is the tricky part. It is not that much different than 'trying' to go to sleep. The more you 'try' the more awake you become. Only letting go of letting go lets you let go and fall into sleep. In the end, ironically, the process of surrender hinges on its opposite – struggle. In other words, [chref=36]if you would have a thing weakened, you must first strengthen it[/chref]. Of course, such 'strengthening' and struggle happens naturally. So,...?

    Having Trouble Finding the Way?
    There are lots of 'reasons' why life doesn't go our way. Often too many desires swamp our lives and drive us to distraction. [chref=70]Ignorance[/chref] of how nature works - its game rules - is always a contributing factor. There are countless solutions offered: religious, political, commercial, romantic, musical,... the list goes on. But their promises never deliver. The simplest 'answer' in the end is that we don't truly care enough to [chref=40]turn back[/chref] to the moment at hand. It is only there, right [chref=64]from beneath our feet[/chref] that we can [chref=21]follows the way and the way only[/chref]. Until we feel trapped like a rat, we hang on in hopes of finding a 'way out'. How ironic that the way is followed by letting go and returning. Or as [chref=41] the Chien yen has it: The way that is bright seems dull; The way that leads forward seems to lead backward...[/chref]
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