Our need to feel as if our lives matter is, as always, an issue for most of us. In her interesting article Rebecca Newberger Goldstein covers most angles in her examination of how to bring mattering into our lives. As a philosopher she ends up attempting to support her beliefs in a rational logical way.
She ends by suggesting that “mattering — none of us more than the other — is our birthright, and we should all be treated accordingly, granted the resources that allow for our flourishing”.
Mankind is forever attempting to bring justice and peace to life through the use of rationalism , logic and reasoning, all useful tools but maybe it is needing to feel that we matter that creates problems. Maybe the truth is that we do matter but that we have somehow forgotten this and our thinking minds ways perpetuate barriers rather than changing things as we think they might. Most of what we create in our effort to matter seems to create more kaos. How then do we find our way collectively to a more compassionate and authentic way.
Nisargadatta says ” You want peace, love, happiness and work hard to create pain, hatred and war. You want longevity and overeat. You want friendship and exploit. See your net as made of these contradictions and remove them – your very seeing of them will make them go.
I attempted to write a blog the other day expressing the difficulty of waking up and coping with the awareness of suffering that seems to be so much a part of life. I didn,t do a very good job of it. Now I realise that what I wrote here in the first sentence is enough said and the question for me is how do I bring wholeness and a loving way to my life despite feeling that humankind is quickly taking itself towards destruction. Its probably the only thing in life that I really truly know the answer to. That is in being aware here and now I will be all that i need to be.
Last evening I was reading Nisargadattas ” I Am That” and came across one of many entries that I find to be so relevant these days. It was written that “In going beyond the limited, divided and opposing mind it becomes a question of love seeking expression and meeting with obstacles. The inclusive mind is love in action, battling against circumstances, initially frustrated ultimately victorious.”
The notion of individualism is a concept that we have come to collectively identify with especially in the west. I have come to realise that although useful in ways concepts are limited and fragmented notions of the whole and as Nisargadatta suggest pursuing a sense of self that is a product of the mind, as such, creates obstacles in my ability to be open, accepting and loving that is my nature.
Russ Douhat and Frank Bruni from the Op- Ed and Firman Bebrabander of the New York Times write about Individualism in America. Since America leads the world in the experiment with individualism it is helpful to have a glimpse of some of the more liberal perceptions in the media in America.
Age of Individualism
Individualism in Overdrive
The Deepest Self
An article by David Brooks that explores the evolution of the concept of self as it has involved and how it still tends to be incomplete.
The Shaking of the Foundations by Paul Tillich
If you really take a good realistic and aware look at where the planet is
headed, positive thinking aside, it becomes obvious that the ongoing destruction that is a consequence of the many conflicts, wars and aggressive world
politics and as well the declining environmental picture one might conclude
that the world is in trouble.
I often wonder why it is that we can not change our ways. Although quite bleak
in its orientation this article by Roy Scranton offers information that is
essential to reflect upon.
Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene by Roy Scranton
Scientists Sound Alarm on the Climate
This sums it up for me.
This is what Krishnamurti is about for me and most of the things that he says comes back to this.
For me the question becomes how do we bring love to the separation
We can not will away separation it just creates more division and separation.
But in presence the separation falls away
In presence we see the boundaries and division that we are and that we have perpetuated and that we continue to perpetuate in the name of knowing, science, religion, common sense and understanding
But in authentic understanding knowing is something beyond our conventional development that we have become attached to.
From this place that we have been conditioned into, the absence that we have created, we search for our way back through ways that create bigger boundaries that keep us from that truth.
You know, actually we have no love – that is a terrible thing to realize. Actually we have no love; we have sentiment; we have emotionality, sensuality, sexuality; we have remembrances of something which we have thought as love. But actually, brutally, we have no love. Because to have love means no violence, no fear, no competition, no ambition. If you had love you will never say, “This is my family.” You may have a family and give them the best you can; but it will not be “your family” which is opposed to the world. If you love, if there is love, there is peace. If you loved, you would educate your child not to be a nationalist, not to have only a technical job and look after his own petty little affairs; you would have no nationality. There would be no divisions of religion, if you loved. But as these things actually exist – not theoretically, but brutally – in this ugly world, it shows that you have no love. Even the love of a mother for her child is not love. If the mother really loved her child, do you think the world would be like this? She would see that he had the right food, the right education, that he was sensitive, that he appreciated beauty, that he was not ambitious, greedy, envious. So the mother, however much she may think she loves her child, does not love the child. So we have not that love. – Krishnamurti, The Collected Works, Vol. XV Varanasi 5th Public Talk 28th November 1964
We live like we know what love, truth, authenticity, freedom are but can it be that our contemporary understanding is inot helpful, influenced by concepts that are influenced by culture, society, language and the structural fragmentation of philosophy and science. Are we better to look elsewhere for a more comprehensive understanding.
I have included an article from the NYT that explores Wittgensteins take on this. It is written by Paul Horwich and is titled
Was Wittgenstein Right?