Many of us, even if we like & admire this quote, basically don't trust or believe in its value - "it's not practical!" We're not motivated to put it into practice. We assume that looking at "bad" situations "from a different perspective" is a useless game of pretending - that it doesn't actually change anything, we'd be simply fooling ourselves to try to feel a bit better.
That certain practices fundamentally change who we are & our relationship to life is a foreign concept to most of us.
But the real problem is that our automatic default response to any adversity - & many arise daily - is adversarial - "me, myself & I" against the hostile world. This IS "natural" & appropriate for animals & cave-dwellers - BUT NOT for civilized humans today!
Now we must PRACTICE to establish a new default way of being: open-hearted, nurturing presence. This is critically practical - because our old default reptilian ways are literally killing everything.
"Practice refers to the discipline of cultivating a crucial capacity of mind, such as wisdom or concentration. Practices are rehearsals of desired qualities, which eventually become spontaneous, natural ways of being."
Walsh R. “Essential spirituality. The 7 central practices to awaken heart and mind.” John Wiley & Sons Inc, NY, 1999.
|Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, May 4, 2014|
I’ve always liked the view that life is a continual conflict between the way the world is and the way we, as individuals, want the world to be -- and that how we address this conflict is a big contributor to how much unhappiness we have in our lives. One way to soften the conflict (and so reduce our unhappiness) is to “soften” ourselves – to understand that we are not separate from the world, and that neither we nor the world have the hard identities that we so often assume. Perhaps this is what the Proust quote means by “having new eyes.” Is this view practical? Heck, yes. I’d much rather live in harmony with the world than in conflict with it.ReplyDelete
I fully agree Dennis. We seriously underestimate the extent to which we project our own unresolved "baggage" onto "the world" - hence the Anais Nin quote: “We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”ReplyDelete