Friday, December 20, 2019

Oh, good!

I have an impulse to write about a strange possibility.  I am not the first to think about it. The character Dr. Pangloss in Voltaire's (1694-1778) novel "Candide" thought and preached the idea.  Eckhart Tolle briefly discusses the idea that there is nothing to worry about, really. The author Tim Grimes discusses a similar experience to that of Tolle, realizing that the world is ok and that fear is not needed.

Both Tolle and Grimes describe what is maybe a personal breakdown of some sort, a very brief intense feeling of crisis and climax that lasts a day or two, followed by a more or less permanent feeling of very deep calm and acceptance of every aspect of life and death.  I don't feel that I have had anything like that happen to me. I do think that a regular practice of meditation more or less encourages a calm and happy acceptance of the days and events of life.  

It seems rather silly to assert or even consider the idea that all of life is good.  I realize that there is plenty of fear and hatred and confusion and anxiety in people and that there are many events and ongoing conditions that only an idiot would describe as good or acceptable or gifts.  I suppose that the only way there can be so much suffering and crime and misbehavior in a good world is if the negatives stem for mis-understanding and mistaken convictions.

Maybe there is some chance of explanation and understanding through the area of concepts.  If I have the concept that everybody outside of my county is evil, I may see them and their actions through a dark and twisted lens.  If I still smart from being accused by my parents of wasting my allowance, I may carry guilt and a dislike for myself without even knowing that I do or where the guilt/dislike habit came from.  It has been interesting to live through this period of "false news" since it has highlighted for me how many of my opinions and beliefs are based on what I have heard or read.   

I am interested in what the mind and brain do in our lives, as well as social and political forces such as believing that members of a group are inferior or superior to me.  I usually quote the title "Cure" when asked for a reference on the subject of mind over matter or placebos or the personal power of belief. I recently found the statement that "pain is an opinion" and I find that those words lead to some sources that seem reliable and solid.  

I am convinced just now that trying to have only happiness and bliss is silly and a waste of time.  I find that Kemps "Cow Tracks" ice cream put me in a blissful state but only if I foregone the dish sometimes.  If I eat it at every meal, it gets boring and eventually repulsive. The best way to tap into the most happiness seems to be to look carefully at what I find in and around me.  Often, the beauty, the wit, the cleverness, the blessings feel complete. They seem to be as positive as I can stand. I still wonder about actual starvation and that volcano explosion in New Zealand.

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