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Keeping to the path of Joy (isn't easy)
We appear to live in times of epidemic unhappiness. Whilst, to me at least, it would appear our birthright is joy, the world of man seems to have darkened so much that misery has been normalised as an unavoidable and regular predicament. Worse still, relief from that inevitable state is the return to some sort of happy functionality through means beyond one's own assets and capabilities. In our so-called civilised world we 'get' happiness through consumer processes, like just about everything else in this world, and not through innate or natural understanding and wisdom. I am losing, may have lost completely, two close members of my family to this darkness. Their drift and disappearance, whilst tragic to my personal desires, is not unremarkable in the daily, global scheme of things. In fact, it is diagnosed and medicated, in quite the routine way, that no doubt many succumb to, as others look on - helpless and resigned. I resent this state of affairs, though of course must not have it pulling me in that same dismal direction or fate. Only each of us alone, can keep on the straight and narrow of life's natural and grace-given delight. In this world, those drowning in darkness will pull you under too ... if you don't protect yourself from their unconscious strength, which is calling for help yet will think nothing of taking your air, right down to the last of your gasps. Where THEY are, they know not what they do, and basic survival instincts will be the order of their day. We can't blame or hate them for this, whilst enduring an unbearable poignancy. We all walk this path alone in the sense that only I can truly put my one foot in front of the other, in this individualised, worldly experience. Some will walk alone into the dark to each side, despite our warnings, often innocently or encouraged by the already darkened. Once lost, some will never return toward the calls of those still on the lit path. What does it take to stay on this path and not, oneself, wander into the darkness - imagining that, by no longer being able to see, (or be seen), one might be a vision to others?
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New comment Jan 5
"Do you believe in GOD?"
I 'believe' (because I'm not sure) it was that Marmite man Jordan Peterson who responded to this question with something like: " It depends what you mean by 'believe', and it depends what you mean by 'god '. And, in his usual pompously erudite way, dismissed the question itself as a bit 'sixth-form' - a sneering jugement with which I actually have some sympathy. What does it matter whether anyone *believes* in anything? And how tedious is it to be trading and arguing over concepts and semantics? Perhaps another way of asking this question, or seeking to get to any true value within it, might be to ask: "What do you worship?" To me, that's the most important and telling information in this particular enquiry, after "why are you asking?" and maybe "why don't you mind your own damn business?!". Let me suggest then, for the purposes of rising above teenage debate and the horrifically un-useful game of 'my god's better than yours', that a far more functional investigation revolves around 'worship' and even 'adoration'. By that, I mean where do your thoughts habitually go? What are you obsessed by? And what gives you your life? (which nicely, coincidentally, brings us back to God) Notice now, that I am using a capital 'G' to emphasise the elevation of the object, the object of my attention, awe and wonder. Prompting me to ask the earnest seeker again: "What do you find yourself thinking about, predominantly?" As I have more readlly and easily, in recent years, observed or caught myself 'in consideration' or where I am pointing my perception, I am glad to report that my God is less the problems of the world and my momentary fears or anxieties, and more the wonder and appreciation of being. In fact, so good is the habit becoming, that I can catch myself being caught up, velcro-like, on the many and dreadful prompts of the inherited culture and simply release them - allowing joy and wonder to be present, instead, again. My 'God' - that which overwhelmingly draws my attention - is less my worldly fears and preoccuptaions, and more an active wonder and revelry in my momentary, yet seemingly eternal, being.
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New comment Dec '23
There is no 'they'
When I take full responsibility for life and my experience of it, there is no 'they'. In that state, in that way of being - free and unlimited - there are no 'others', there is nowhere or somewhere else. And in truth, I can sense there is no other time, only now. The now in which I am experiencing the all, the here and now. A sense of all that is, now and forever, or ever seemed to be as a 'was' or 'will be'. It's that thinking mind (again), that turns pure life into personal fragments and refinements. Making others, creating time and manifesting the dense struggle of living, normally. That might be me too, but not when I see I have a choice, and... 'Come back to life' 😉
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An author in our midst...
Wow, Carl! I just started reading your "Come Back to Life" PDF in the Classroom section. Some giggles and wow's and hmmmm's already! Great compilation. Thank you for sharing!
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New comment Dec '23
The tiny grief of tea
The tiny grief of tea The day's last sun is seen And other, endless, saddening, moments come and go Yet life's, eternal, ever-present, joy has never failed me. A little poem for you and GOD this morning, which came to me as I, for a silly moment, grieved a last sip. Realising soon after, that like the tea or the sun, it's always me, not I, that goes away. GOD never leaves me. I leave GOD.
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This is Carl Munson's website and home of the Come Back to Life project
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