Posts Tagged ‘philosophising’

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Philosophy Tuesday

August 21, 2018

Well how about that.  This post marks the 200th* Philosophy Tuesday post.  In some ways, I am amazed that this is still going strong, and yet at the same time I’m also not so amazed.  As with any practice, the pathway to knowing one’s self leads forever towards the horizon.  I’m still breathing, and so my journey cannot be done.  New lands and new roads remain to be traveled and explored.

Sometimes these posts have been easy to write.  What’s right there for me is right there, and the way to expression is quick.  Boom.  Done.  Post!  Gloriously speedy, especially in the midst of a full life.  Other times… not so much.  The impetus and entry points might be clear, but in writing things down I realize I need to take myself to task.  Take myself, my notions, my defaults, my automatics, all of those and more, take them all on and think, collide, muse, discover, and ultimately (hopefully) grow my understanding and insight.**  It’s not always fun while in the middle of that slog, but it’s always rewarding at the end, presenting new possibilities in and for life.

And to the end that they show up here in this Tuesday tradition, I hope they bring new possibilities in and for your lives as well.

It’s humbling, in so many ways, to look back and see the vast distances journeyed and to recognize the transformations made along the way.  It never seems that there is much distance left to cover and yet, it gets covered.  Felling like I’ve got a good handle on things is a ruse; my world(s) keep opening further and further.  This perspective helps pull apart the (often collapsed) notions of confidence vs conceit, or pride vs arrogance.

Do I “know” a lot?  Yes.  Can I do a lot with that?  Yes.  Effectively?  Heck yes!  Do I really know?  Well, no…  and that’s cool.  Here’s where I am.  Cool.  What’s next?  Cool.  Let’s learn.

Though I no longer preface each post with it, I continue to write from a place and intention of sparking thinking and examining.  I continue to write from the idea that we are all whole and complete and full of unseen capacity, and that we equally, often, have barriers between us and our experience of our wholeness and our capacities.  I continue to live from the stand that we are all, at our core, deeply related and connected in our grand desires.

We are of the same human spirit, and the more we can brush away that which restrains us, the more we can soar.

I thank each and every one of you for reading, for engaging, for commenting, for sharing, and for being willing to take yourself on and for your commitment to seek out new possibilities for yourself and for those around you.  A big virtual hug to you all.

 

* As with the “2 year” marker this is 200 posts give or take, not counting weeks off and weeks with titles other than strictly “Philosophy Tuesday,” nor does it take into account weeks with additional philosophy posts…

** And if I am fortunate, wisdom as well.

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Philosophy Tuesday

May 8, 2018

Goals, resolutions, targets…

Maybe sometime, it’s better to just play a game.

Not any kind of game, though.  Not something like poker or sports or something we can wrap so much of our identity(ies) around.

But the primordial kind of game.  The kind we made up when we were kids.

Games like “The Floor is LAVA.”

Games that we totally made up, and know we made up, but we play them like they’re real.  Full out.  100%.  All the way, twisting, jumping, balancing, taking risks, giving it all we’ve got.  (And probably laughing a lot too…)

And then we either win – yay! – or not.  Floomph!  Into the lava we went.

The game is then done.  We reminisce about the game, we review what we did, we

Then, we can play the game again, make up new rules for the game, choose to play a different game altogether.

And so it goes.

Our games can be short and simple:  “Today, I will practice being grateful.”  At the end of the day, “Hmm.  How did my game go?  Did I win that game?  Yes, no?  By a little, by a lot?”  Tomorrow, we create another game.

Or the games can be great and long.  “I am playing the game to complete the first draft of my book by the end of the year.”   The year is up!  How’d the game go?

Oh, you want to play again?  Or play this related game?  Cool.  Anything you see missing that you want to add in before you play?  Cool!  Ready… set…

Games are fun.  Games get us going.*  Games can be fulfilling.  And they’re just games.  They propel us forward, and when the timer’s up, they disappear, leaving a clean field for the next one.

So…

What games do you want to play?

 

* The NaNoWriMo is another great example of this:  A game to write 50,000 words of fiction during the month of November.  It’s a game!  Play, write, and either hit 50k, nor not!  Woo!

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Philosophy Tuesday

February 27, 2018

There is a difference between mental health, and mental illness.

Our bodies can be in poor health without an actual illness or pathogen acting up on us.  Poor eating, stress, lack of sleep, overwork, exhaustion, rough environmental conditions, all of these can sap us of our vitality and wellbeing, leaving us weakened.

There’s nothing “wrong” to treat.  We’re just weakened.

So too it is with our mental (to which I am encompassing whole wide realm of mental/emotional/’spiritual’) health.  It is very possible to be in a weakened mental health state without a physical/brain impingement acting up on us.  Stress, environment, lack of sleep, social atmospheres, interactions, exposure, messaging, stories, all of these can sap us of our mental vitality and wellbeing, leaving us weakened.

It is, perhaps, an apt description for one of the ways Buddhism describes the term Dukkha, or dis-ease.

And when we are weakened, we are, in all manners of ways, not going to perform our best.  Our thoughts, feelings, judgments, decisions, and actions are all going to be impaired.  We can act out in ways we truly don’t want to, be rash, get into arguments, make logic errors, buy the wrong things, say terrible things, make poor choices, overreact, get into accidents, be violent, all manners of ways and actions that are far from the noble truths of our authentic desires.

It is vitally important to know this difference between mental illness and mental health.  Because when we focus only on the former, and get into binary “have/don’t have” mental illness thinking, we can greatly miss that which affects us and millions like us.  We can take what’s so and think it is the norm.  We can dismiss our own troubles and unwellness, rendering ourselves susceptible to the fallout of the unwellness while blinding us to the steps we can take to lead ourselves back to health.

Most importantly, without holding this difference out in front of us we can miss all the influences that are making us all unwell, and so miss having the conversations and taking the actions necessary to lead our collective selves back towards wellness and even strength.

And within a community, that strength is what we want.  When those in our community are well, we are well.  It is a foundation that supports individual lives, with greater freedom, peace, and peace of mind.

 

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Philosophy Tuesday

February 6, 2018

There is a difference between a Possibility, and an Expectation.  And it’s a good one.

An expectation holds a high regard as to what will likely happen.  An expectation holds dear that something will happen.  An expectation demands that something should happen.

An expectation is a possible future coupled with an attachment.

It should go this way… or else.

A possibility, on the other hand, acknowledges that is a creation.

A possibility calls towards the future and puts a vision out there, without  clinging.  A possibility aims broader, foregoing a specific outcome and specific paths to get there.  Possibilities live in the world of intents, recognizing the broader avenues of fulfillment.

And here’s the fun part:

If you have an expectation, and it goes unmet, then you’re left with disappointment.

If you have a possibility, and it goes unmet, then what you’re left with is…  a possibility.

No upset.  No frustration.  Only a place of clarity and power and creation from which to spring forward into what’s next and towards the fulfillment of your possibilities, and the joy therein.

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Philosophy Tuesday

January 30, 2018

A few years ago, a friend of mine was sharing about her battle against cancer.  Needless to say, it was an ordeal, and her daily experience was not pleasant in the slightest.*  “Oy,” I said, “I can only imagine what it must be like for you right now.”

“Thank you,” she replied.  But the way she said ‘thank you’ went well beyond a pleasantry… there was a depth to it, a certain fire around it mixed in with appreciation.  I must have given her a quizzical look, for she explained.  “I’ve had a lot of people tell me ‘Oh, I know how you feel.’  But they really don’t.  Unless you’ve gone through it, you don’t know at all what it feels like.”

Later on that evening, that exchange got me thinking.

Imagination is the path into empathy.  It allows us to envision other worlds and other people, and get a glimpse for ourselves what things could be like given the place, past, and experience of another.  It calls to us to get out of our own frame and get into that of another.

Imagination is of prime importance in the realm of being human.

But perhaps, in an opposite-side-of-the-same-coin sort of way, it is by putting aside our imagination and recognizing that imagination is just that – an ephemeral visualization of make believe – that even greater empathy is gained.

Realizing that no matter how great and creative we are, no matter how powerful our imagination, there exists still worlds and possibilities and experiences and feelings we haven’t visited, or are not (yet) capable of visiting, in our mind. **

And so  it may well be presumptuous to think we know something, and that we know the lows, or highs, that is and are possible to experience.

We can imagine what it might be like;  and then leave open the possibility that it might even be so much more.

Imagination is the start of empathy.  Going beyond Imagination into No Imagination could well be its fulfillment.

 

* Fortunately, she was a facile with the distinguishing of pain and uncomfortableness vs suffering.  Her spirits stayed lofty even as her body went sideways.

** Such as the experiences of those in the recent eclipse, or even my trip to Japan and visiting the works of Tadao Ando on Naoshima Island

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Philosophy Tuesday

January 23, 2018

“The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.  If you cannot or will not imagine the results of your actions, there’s no way you can act morally or responsibly.  Little kids can’t do it; babies are morally monsters – completely greedy.  Their imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.”

“The writer’s pleasant duty, then, is to ply the reader’s imagination with the best and purest nourishment that it can absorb.”

— Ursula K Le Guin (who passed away today)

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Philosophy Tuesday

January 16, 2018

“When you are kind to strangers,

you never know what it will mean to them,

but sometimes it means a great deal.”

John Green