Sunday, June 14, 2015

Peace of Mind

"Humanity should stand united against the abusers of the world. However, we can no more eradicate the darkest impulses of human nature than we can stop the earthquakes that bury villages or the hurricanes that level seaside towns. All are manifestations of nature, and though we may battle against them, on some level we must also learn how to live with them in our midst."

--Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Computer: Mindfulness and the Machine

My commentary:

Clearly this is not a perfect world, a world where all are beautiful, enlightened manifestations of a perfect order.

No, ours is a world where idiocy and injustice reign supreme.

Wherever there are people, wherever there are different ideas and personalities coming together, conflict is inevitable.

But not all conflict is bad. Conflict, being a stimulus to change, is actually necessary for growth, for the birth of new ideas to occur.

That's why both good and evil exist, because they feed off of each other, neither would exist without the other. There would be no good in this world, without the reference point of evil illuminating the way. The conflict and tension and physical opposition forces one to act, to pick a side, to fight or to surrender, to change or to adapt.

The world is a circle, as the seasons change, so also do the cycles of war and peace, good and evil, prosperity and hardship, ignorance and enlightenment, rising and falling like waves in the sea.

Better to step aside, to find the quiet center within, outside the turbulence of the storm, as the interplay of good and evil goes on forever. Just like tornadoes and hurricanes and deadly viruses, both ignorance and injustice appear to be endemic to the natural order of this world.

So what should you do?

Transform your anger into a catalyst for change, don't let things upset you that are outside your power to control.

Learning to have a calm and detached state of mind, in all situations, both good and bad, is the key to finding peace of mind.

That's easier said than done. Biggest challenge of my life. I seem to be naturally argumentative. Pissed off. Don't like stupid people. And yet, my anger changes nothing. It's counterproductive. As much as it bothers me, there will always be people that bother me, and the older I get the more so. Nothing I can do about it, no amount of education or enlightenment is going to enlighten unenlightened minds. Okay, let's assume that I'm right, that there will always be some jerk who will always be a jerk, no matter what you say to them, no matter what information you give them. So, in that case, being angry about it is a waste of time and energy.

Okay, I know this. I also know that writing this, however true it may be, isn't going to stop me from feeling angry about things I have absolutely no power to change, but in writing this I wanted to acknowledge it, equanimity, as a virtue, as a path to peace of mind, as being a worthy aspiration. That is all.

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