I want to talk about the state of mind. It really is all about the state of mind, which is a moment-by-moment creation of the state.
Because the state does not exist by itself, it doesn’t exist well in a vacuum. This is a problem that people run into all the time. They either do not recognize the state as an outcome or do not recognize the state as the supreme. They don’t understand how the stuff are put together. So, they talk about the steps that are necessary to generate the state, and there is an awful lot of that going on.
Discussion about what behavior, this behavior, and that behavior illuminates a lot of behaviors and is what a lot of it is. As opposed to saying that, here what we are looking for is to create a state of compassion or a state of equanimity.
These things could be very well-stated goals, and it could very well be with that kind of objective or whatever. It may not even be an objective, but a sort of perspective as to what is the desired state in which it would be easier to become fluid and to move through these states more readily.
The state is supported by a belief system, and the belief system is what most people consider their identity. This is one of the ways in which the states take on an undue importance because there is a tendency to, the human desire resolution. It is part of the things that we do.
The unanswered question is a dangerous thing in prehistoric times. Not knowing where the tiger is could mean that you are dead. So you have to know where the tiger is and you also have to know which plants are healthy and which are poisonous.
You have to have definite answers in order to survive. We are looking for those kinds of definite answers when we are looking at interpersonal relationships, and it just does not work that way.
So we have states that are bonding, states that maybe are more suited to creativity, states that are eloquent, and states that are scared (hesitant would be a better way to put it). We have a variety of these states going on in our lives, and we need to understand that we can orchestrate these states and belief systems that support them in order to create better states, better feeling states, states with healthier brain chemistry and healthier outcomes in the world, and states that support life.
Generating these states has been what the human purpose is all about. If we understood the states that we are creating and understood our role here of creating and maintaining living states, then the states are oriented towards the good. States that are putting off expansive energy, putting energy, and putting off high vibrational energy, we could go into them.
There are different ways in which these have become important. If there is something that we are doing with the universe and that we can do with the universe, it is because we can create these different states if we understood that consciousness is in many ways like the ocean.
When you put one bit of trash in the ocean, it’s not noticed except by those who it affects directly. In the aggregate it’s not noticed. But when the ocean starts to become filled with trash, things start to change. We are at a time now where we have polluted the consciousness so much.
We have animals spending their entire lives in little prisons, like mother pigs that are unable to reposition themselves to get more comfortable, can’t walk around, or anything. They are just put in these little pens and fed, and they just breathe and live their entire lives that way. We even have restaurants serving veal. I know people who eat veal don’t understand it. I mean, isn’t it enough that we eat the healthy animals? Why do we have to intentionally make animals sick and eat them?
The suffering of life should be condemned. I think it should be shunned.
Even if you looked at the Christian’s Ten Commandments, what the basic rules of the road revolve around is not creating upset and not creating emotional pain. Don’t kill people; don’t screw their spouses, but then I mean it is like don’t even think about screwing their spouses. But that’s not really beneficial. Telling someone that does not necessarily impact their behavior much, but I think this is as much as they knew back in those days.
There is a lot going on in the world. Civilization had clearly reached a point, like the Greeks and the Hindus. Buddha was born about the same time as Socrates was doing what he was doing. And if you think about this, the same general area in history, I think they were a few hundred years apart or something like that. If you look at what they were teaching, what they were saying, and what they were doing, it’s very interesting because there are certainly parallels. The orientation of the thinking and the depths of the thinking are very different.
Buddha is thinking about individual way of salvation, the individual way in which to escape the suffering. Socrates is thinking about the interpersonal nature of suffering and justice because justice was really his question: what is justice? So that is ultimately what he was going for all the time. What does it mean? What is justice?
They were clearly trying to sort out rules of behavior for societies and ways of getting that understanding. They may have also been reaching for a way to maintain a connection in conflict.
Conflict is always the thing that strains the connections, so justice then is likely to be the aspect that is going to allow the connection to be maintained even in times of stress.
So what does justice mean? What is the way to eliminate the hard feelings and maintain the connection? That’s what it comes down to with anybody, with all of us. Can we maintain the connection? Can we keep the good feelings?
It’s a question we really need to ask in a lot of ways because we need to ask this about our treatment of animals, of our environment, of the sky, of the water, and of the Earth. We need to take a look at how we are living our lives and ask ourselves if we are maintaining a connection or if we are breaking off the connection.
This is the nature of justice. This is the nature of life if we are going to live a life that allows us to be the most that we can be and to experience the most happiness we can experience. We can use whatever word we want to describe this happiness or this good feeling – this positiveness – but how do we get that and keep that when what we want as individuals may not be forthcoming and will ultimately not be?
Ultimately, an individual who wants to have energetic, happy productive years all their life is not going to have that opportunity. At some point in time, their body will become old and death will be here for them. So the individual that created whatever that individual created may be gone, but life moves on and continues to happen. There will be room for another individual of similar characteristics, and we will call that reincarnation.
There is no distance between my experience and your experience. It is only that each of us is experiencing it from an individual perspective, but there is no separation other than that. The experience is on two individuals each with their own belief systems and with their own states of mind, with capacities and talents and connections, but it is the same experience. We are all having this experience together.
The more suffering there is in the world, the more suffering there is. If you want to stop your suffering, stop causing suffering in the world. Every animal suffers. I’m not saying you have to be absolutely perfect, but we have to make that shift. We have to make this shift of understanding – the shift in understanding that the “us” that we think we are and we think this life is about is only here for one life and consciousness has been here all along every life that has ever been lived.
So here is an old joke about the different parts of the body that thinks it’s in charge. Your brain thinks it’s in charge because it thinks and it makes the decisions and it decides where to go to hunt and live and all these other things. There is the mouth that thinks it’s in charge because it speaks and communicates, eats, and gives nutrition. And then, there are the legs that think they are the most important because they carry the body around and give the body the ability to do things.
You know even if it couldn’t think well, it would still need legs to move to find food. But then the asshole tightens up and just won’t let go. Suddenly constipation becomes the real issue, and the importance of the disposing of the waste becomes a priority. The next thing you know, you realize that you know what this is in charge and that our ability to eliminate waste is what’s in charge.
Everything is important, each and every one. If you think about your own body, you don’t say I want my hands to feel better so I’m going to treat my feet badly in order to make my hands feel better. You don’t do that. You want everything to function normally and healthily to feel good.
When we come out here as a cell in the hand, we forget that in every decision we make, we are given the ability to make not just decisions of direct being-to-being exchanges such as a hunter or a predator that calls sick livestock from herds and things like that. So it’s not like that at all.
We’re here to make decisions that have wide-reaching implications: creating pollution that goes beyond the borders of cities and states and countries and that covers the world and making decisions that talk about making toxic chemicals.
Here we are, humans. And we have accepted that the individual striving for comfort, power, fame, and whatever not only has that right but is also admired if they are highly successful, not so much though as the work for the common good.
Right now, we’re in interesting times. We have a pope from Latin America that is speaking out against pollution as it takes its toll largely on the poor and speaks out against the inequality of resources of money and the disparity of wealth. We also have a presidential campaign that has a socialist, an independent, from Vermont running for governor of the democratic ticket, Bernie Sanders.
We see it as very interesting times. I am hopeful. I believe we have opportunities now that we did not have before. I am encouraged that we are going to make better decisions, and so we will see.
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