Emptiness

Day 7 of the Challenge, Everyday Inspiration: Let Social Media Inspire You!

From a list of 5 tweets I chose…

“You study, study, study, and at the end, you are lucky enough to discover the greatest gift of education: that you know nothing at all.” – E.J Koh (Twitter).

Its been a massive thing for me to put into practice but its something I stand firm with today. If I want to learn I need to unlearn first! My head has been crammed so full with bullshit, ego and conditioned survival thinking (Selfishness & Self-centred fear) over the last five decades. It was near impossible to distinguish healthy thinking from insane thought patterns when I first got a few months sober. It seems bizarre now… looking back at just how screwed my thinking was, but its also understandable. I didn’t know any better!
Learning requires a teacher and experience has taught me that pain is the greatest teacher of them all. The lessons it brings are seldom welcome. I don’t believe I’m so different from anybody else with my desire to escape every time the Grand Master makes an appearance. I can truly say that everything it has taught me has been the most important, relevant and beneficial lesson needed at that time to improve my spiritual growth. This goes to prove I don’t know what’s good for me, I think I do, thats why I need to unlearn!
With the benefit of hindsight I can see that now and that has changed my attitude towards pain. I would like to say my initial reaction has changed but that would be untrue. The early sensation of any form of emotional pain is quickly followed by panic! Nowadays this is sharply replaced by soul searching questions of “What’s it here for, what is it saying?” I usually find later that Ive started heading in the wrong direction and have took my eye off the ball. Its an easy mistake and I expect that will keep happening to a greater or lesser extent until I make it to the clearing at the end of the path!
Working the Steps has developed in me an ‘attitude of gratitude’ (can be fleeting at times) and a desire to remain forever teachable. Academically and intellectually Im no novice, but what do they count for when you step out of the door into a war zone? Life is that war zone! I have to be prepared to roll with it and change to suit it – ‘Life on Life’s terms’ that’s an education in itself and I know nothing about what challenges it will present me today.
The Buddhists believe that attachment is the route of all suffering and I can see where they are coming from with that. Attachment to attitudes and believes, especially those that have proved to be lacking and troublesome. Its amazing how many people will hold on to and defend something that is so obviously causing them deep problems. Simply put, this is ego defending itself… fragile and full of shit! What a powerful hold it can have over somebody suffering its grasp! Its had me more than a few times on this journey but I try on a daily basis to keep that fucker at arms length. It was Einstein who coined the phrase – “The definition of insanity is to keep making the same mistake over and over again whilst expecting a different result!” I try to stay sane today.

Life is a game of perspective! Everybody sees things only from their angle and how it fits with their history. I need to regularly be around people who are aware of this and understand that they know nothing when it comes to hard facts. I believe it was Dogen who said “Emptiness is Form, Form is Emptiness” – All true creativity comes when the mind is still. All great ideas are formed when we have emptiness of the mind. When we accept we know nothing we are then ready to learn.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung

“The more you know, the less you understand.” ~ Lao Tzu

D&O in Fresno.#

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