“One must assume responsibility for being in a weird world,” he said. “We are in a weird world, you know.”
I nodded my head affirmatively.
“We’re not talking about the same thing,” he said. “For you the world is weird because if you’re not bored with it you’re at odds with it. For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I wanted to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”
–Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan
I’ve been thinking a lot about responsibility lately. Particularly our responsibility for living in this world. Responsibility and I tend to have been at odds more often than not. Oh I’ve always been willing to own up to it when I’ve fallen short of doing what I’m supposed to do but following though has been problematic in the past. That changed a lot when we adopted my son Zev. When you have other people counting on you, certain things just fall into place.
More and more often I’ve been thinking about my responsibility as someone who lives in this world. What are my responsibilities to my fellow beings on this planet?Or as a friend said to me recently, “How do you feel for everyone as your child?” So how do we do it? The word for feeling someone’s suffering and doing what you can to ease it is compassion. How do we raise the level of compassion in ourselves and then teach it to others? At this point I have to say that my answer is still, “I don’t know” I feel it has something to do with awareness and honesty
One of the assumptions I’ve always had has been that as soon as I know something I am responsible for it. This assumption has caused me to stop friends from telling me about the misdoings of others. It has also caused me to want to share my experiences and what I learn. Yet, if this is true and I allow myself knowledge of political misdoings and economic injustices that happen every day, where does my responsibility lie? Does it make a difference if I am a bit conflicted over just what can be done? It seems so often that even when I read of what’s going on, or join a march or boycott, I still don’t fully feel it. Part of me wonders about the effectiveness of these techniques. Part of me wonders how much I am letting myself feel my knowledge, feel the suffering of people more effected by these things than I am. Sometimes it feels like I have hung wallpaper over a hole in my being. How do I break through that wallpaper to find my heart? Again, finding answers still in progress. Blessings, G
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Burning Desire by G A Rosenberg