Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Kindness and Humility

    “At every meeting we are meeting a stranger.” T. S. Eliot, from “The Cocktail Party (I,iii)

    “Speaking disparagingly about another person can have far-reaching effects. But on an even deeper level, a mind that is seized by a frozen view of another, whether the thoughts are spoken or not, is incapable of being open & awake. So, in a broader sense, this precept invites us to not only speak of but to meet even those we think we know — such as our mother or father — as if for the first time, like Eliot’s stranger. ...
    When we have the courage to squarely meet what we hold on to, to acknowledge & experience it with each new encounter, then over time we find that the bondage of our holdings loosens."
Diane Eshin Rizzetto, “Meeting Others as Strangers”

     This is a great teaching - to assume that we know little or nothing about "the other." Wiser people than I suggest that we also know next to nothing about ourselves or "God." What we do know about ourselves is that if we're honest, we deserve to be very humble.

     Many, including myself sense that the Source (Nature, the Divine, non-dual emptiness) takes things far less seriously than we humans do. What if s/he is playing each & every one of our roles in the spirit of pure creativity & fun - like s/he were the creative writer, director, producer, set designer, and ALL OF THE ACTORS in a play.

                "What if God was one of us?
                Just a slob like one of us
                Just a stranger on the bus
                Tryin' to make his way home?"    Eric Bazilian, "One of Us"

    But as soon as s/he ("we") manifests in physical form, in our world of opposites (duality), most of us completely forget who we truly are - otherwise, finding our way home wouldn't be much of an adventure.

     The human mind (ego) was not designed by evolutionary forces for finding truth. It was designed for finding advantage.” Albert Szent-Györgyi, Nobel laureate

    It takes a cosmic joker to voluntarily manifest as such apparently wildly opposite personalities: the Buddha, Stalin, Mother Teresa, Putin, Jesus, Trump, Pol Pot, Gandhi,  … and yet, in a way, are we not all 'just slobs on a bus, tryin' to make our way home?'

    “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” Confucius 500 BCE

    “The Golden Rule, ‘Do onto others as you would have them do onto you,’ is a part of every religion we have. Every religion has something about this in their creed. It’s a guideline we have to follow for most of us, but for near-death experiencers, they’ve experienced it as a law of the universe. Let me give you an example of this:

    Tom was in his mid-thirties when a truck he was working under fell and crushed his chest. He had a very elaborate near-death experience (NDE). There were many parts of it, but one part was his life review. He went back over every event in his life in minute detail. He said, ‘I could count the number of mosquitoes that were buzzing around me at this time, which he couldn’t have done during the event, but in the NDE he did. And he said, ‘Not only that, but I experienced everything through my eyes and through the eyes of other people involved in the scene.’ He described one incident in particular, when he was a teenager, driving his truck down the street, when a drunk man wandered out in front of him. He jammed on the brakes, and was furious at the man for almost denting his truck. So he rolled down the window and started yelling at the man. And the man, being quite intoxicated, reached his hand in the window and slapped Tom across the face. You don’t do that to an angry teenager.
    So Tom got out of the truck, and started beating the man up. And he left him a bloody mess on the median strip. Now Tom tells me, when he relived this in his life review, he felt it through his own eyes – the adrenalin rush, the rage. And he also felt at the same time, through the eyes of the drunk man – the humiliation of being beaten up by this kid, the 32 blows of Tom’s fist in his face. Now Tom couldn’t have told you it was 32, but reliving it anew in an NDE, he felt 32 of them. He felt the man’s nose getting bloodied, he felt the man’s lower teeth going through his lower lip. And he came back realizing we’re all the same thing. There’s no difference between me & that man. It’s like if you’re looking at your fingers, they look like they’re separate things, but they’re really connected, and you can’t cut one off without hurting them all. So the Golden Rule for near-death experiencers is not a guideline, it’s the way things are.”
    Dr. Bruce Greyson - "After" - WMRA Books & Brews Feb 2023 :

    Recently I read that what we all desire above all is to be seen & accepted for who we are. This seems to imply by another person, BUT many feel that we first & foremost need this deep self-acceptance & unconditional love from ourselves.

    “Love thy neighbour as thyself for the love of God” is seen by some as an impractical infringement on one's individual right to find & secure as much personal material wealth & comfort as possible. Fewer & fewer see it in a proprietary, religious exclusivist context.

    Increasingly, people see the Golden Rule from a non-dual perspective ie that my neighbour, myself & God are one & the same - ONE entity manifesting as infinite variety of appearances, including everyone & everything: spiritually independents, scientific materialists, agnostics, atheists, theists, "president-for-life" dictators, drug dealers, petty crooks, mosquitoes, dogs, birds, fish, trees, rocks, mountains, oceans, earth, sun, moon, clouds, sky & cosmos. Divine non-dual infinite potential self-reflecting by manifesting as & exploring duality - the material world of opposites.
    On manifesting as humans, we tend to forget our true nature, AND also 
forget most of our wisdom. Awakening is remembering who we truly are - and - how to live appropriately as 'dual citizens' of non-duality & duality.

    So, no matter who we think we are, let's be kind, humble & pull together like wise, nurturing grandparents.


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