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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lightening Up

Bear with me here. I'm always in some process of understanding. Because the more you're willing to understand, the more you will.

In the total self-interest of being happy I try to maintain "looking for the Buddha nature" in everyone. Since I think we all operate from a longing to be happy and have love, that's where I'm trying to get to now. Which isn't easy to stay conscious of when there are powerful people making life awful for the unpowered. Holy crap, trying to understand Boehner in that context makes my brain hurt. But the Buddha nature in him is there, it's in everyone.

The courses of unhappiness are to be abandoned in order to gain happiness. Which doesn't mean walking away and ignoring everything that makes you unhappy. It means not giving them energy. It's the "wolf you feed" kind of thing. This is why self-pity is so poisonous. It consumes all energy. Transforming one state to another takes a lot of energy, and if you spend all your time focussed on your suffering, how can you rise above it? You can't. You've spent all your energy in the troubles and your emotions resulting from the troubles. There's nothing left.

If everything is a construct of our own making by what we understand, and I believe it is, all we have to do is change our position to change everything. If we step back from our need for emotional responses to things we get perspective, and perspective is very helpful. And once we have perspective we can change the focus of where we're coming from and what we're looking for, to compassion and love. Choosing to invest your energy in positive active directions brings happiness as a result.

Compassion and love. Oy. What a spaghetti platter that is, if you're looking for romance in there, because anytime you're looking to get something outside your own ability you're bound for trouble. Not so much if you're just in it for your own understanding and to find it in others. I think this is why lamas and other holy folk live so long. They spend a lot of time getting what they really need from themselves, and rely on others for bodily sustenance, while focussing their interaction with others in kindness given and received.

We can't all be lamas; some of us have to be in the midst of the world to keep it running, and indeed to give bodily sustenance to those who have to be lamas and holy folk. We all have to be who we are. But we can change how we operate, what we feed, and we can keep trying to be better people.

I really don't know shit, I'm just trying to understand.


Geo. said...

Thoughtful and constructive post! Buddhists come from a general longing for kinder, more mindful social contracts, so I read "total self-interest" as enlightened self-interest. I do not know where Boehners come from.

Austan said...

Thanks, Geo. You're a kind man. I don't know where Boehners come from either but I wish they'd stop it.