Sunday, April 13, 2008

Grotto Bay Sunsets and "... allowing the goodness to emerge."

In winter, and sometimes in summer when there are clouds, we have spectacular sunsets here.

Brenda's Aunt Sylvia came to visit. We were a little worried about how it would go--we have Nunus and Sylvia is a little afraid of dogs, there's no traffic noise, it's an unfamiliar place ...

We need not have worried! Nunus and Sylvia became instant friends. We thought at first that if it did not work out we could take her back the next day. It was so good we decided to take her back a day later! She enjoyed it. She loved being here. Nunus too--Sylvia just ignored the rule about "Don't feed the dog when we're at the table!"

Here's an afterthought, a final thought about ice trays. I'm getting questions from some who read the text about the ice trays. This is the last time I'm writing about ice trays, or maybe it isn't. The idea is that we try hard to live our lives better, do the right things and so on. But what matters is the underlying attitudes and beliefs that shape our actions. I found some words written by Eckhart Toller that says it very nicely: "Fear, greed, and the desire for power are the psychological motivating forces not only behind warfare and violence between nations, tribes, religions, and ideologies, but also the cause of incessant conflict in personal relationships. They bring about a distortion in your perception of other people and yourself. Through them, you misinterpret every situation, leading to misguided action designed to rid you of fear and satisfy your need for more, a bottomless hole that can never be filled.

"It is important to realize, however, that fear, greed, and the desire for power are not the dysfunction that we are speaking of, but are themselves created by the dysfunction, which is a deep-seated collective delusion that lies within the mind of each human being. A number of spiritual teachings tell us to let go of fear and desire. But those spiritual practices are usually unsuccessful. They haven't gone to the root of the dysfunction. Fear, greed, and desire for power are not the ultimate causal factors. Trying to become a good or better human being sounds like a commendable and high-minded thing to do, yet it is an endeavor you cannot ultimately succeed in unless there is a shift in consciousness. This is because it is still part of the same dysfunction a more subtle and rarified form of self-enhancement, of desire for more and a strengthening of one's conceptual identity, one's self-image. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness.

"The history of Communism, originally inspired by noble ideals, clearly illustrates what happens when people attempt to change external reality-create a new earth--without any prior change in their inner reality, their state of consciousness. They make plans without taking into account the blueprint for dysfunction that every human being carries within: the ego."

I like his phrases: "inner reality" and "state of consciousness." I'll paste what's the key sentence for me alongside those already on my mirror: "You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge."

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