One must — as in a swimming pool —
dare to dive from the quivering springboard of trivial everyday experience and sink into the depths, in order to later rise again —
laughing and fighting for breath — to the now doubly illuminated surface of things
When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.
Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
The psychological self is rooted in time. It needs to feel it is on a journey, that it is getting somewhere — anywhere. The journey is what provides it with a feeling of existence and continuity. If it weren’t going somewhere it would be forced to feel the fear of the present moment, the fear of not existing, of the void beneath its feet. Our individual journey is reinforced by the cultural norm. Our culture is so fixated on the necessity of doing that if we are idle for a while we are very likely to think we are wasting our time and our lives. Everyone wants to “have a life” and “get a life,” and that usually means throwing ourselves into some gainful activity that will show a tangible result.
Roger Housden, Dropping the Struggle
photo: payton chung
Western laziness ……consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so there is no time at all to confront the real issues. This form of laziness lies in our failure to choose worthwhile applications for our energy. We are so addicted to looking outside ourselves that we have lost access to our inner being almost completely. We are terrified to look inward, because our culture has given us no idea of what we will find. So we make our lives so hectic that we eliminate the slightest risk of looking into ourselves. … in a world dedicated to distraction, silence and stillness terrify us; we protect ourselves from them with noise and frantic busyness. Looking into the nature of our mind is the last thing we would dare to do.
We often prefer to live in our ideas or dreams about life and not where it actually is.
rather than trying to have special experiences
is where real freedom lies
Ezra Bayda, At Home in the Muddy Water
photo jaka ostrovrsnik
One of the most growth-promoting experiences for another person comes from my appreciating this individual in the same way that I appreciate a sunset. People are just wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. In fact, perhaps the reason we can truly appreciate a sunset is that we cannot control it. When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.” I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.