“«Who are the true philosophers you have in mind?» he asked.
«Sightseers of the truth,» I answered.
«That must be right, but what exactly does it mean?» he asked.”
― Plato, The Republic
When you go sightseeing what do you look at? Do you look at everything in the guidebook that you clutch like the bible (or perhaps the modern equivalent of the browser on your iPhone? Do you look at the obvious sites, the ones that ‘everyone’ goes to? Perhaps you are adventurous, talking to the people who live in whatever area you are exploring, listening to their word of mouth tales of the hidden treasure, the sites that few see that somehow feel so much more memorable than the standard museums, castles and monuments. Perhaps, if you are like me, you prefer to wander,hang out with the natives and see what only they see.
It seems that when we go exploring reality the same choices present themselves. There are the truths that exist in all the holy books and many choose to just acknowledge those. Then there are those who read more and deeper, looking for the meanings behind the truths, perhaps to discover a bit of what’s hidden beneath the surface. There are other paths as well. Talking to people and discovering the personal takes that only they know, meditating, exploring within and discovering our own connection to truth as well.
Just as in sightseeing, I believe in doing it all, reading, meditating, praying, compassionately knowing people and integrating the experience . Of course sometimes the large monuments are cool as well.
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Flames of Creation by G A Rosenberg
Texture Colour Play by G A Rosenberg
Three quotes tonight but they all dance around a common theme that has been on my mind quite a bit lately and perhaps more and more in my heart:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
“for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”
― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
For the sake of discussion, let’s define compassion as the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes and thus gain an understanding of them and their needs. Perhaps what empathy aspires to be when it grows up or perhaps when we grow up.
When we feel compassion for someone, it does not mean feeling sorry for them tho it does mean feeling their suffering. It does not mean we give them our agreement as much as our understanding. Often when practicing compassion, it means we are there suffering with them yet we know to spoon feed them what they need to stop their suffering, we are cheating them out of a lesson they will now have to find a new way to learn.
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Bunratty Castle in County Clare Ireland
One from the archives:
Krishna Playing to the Heart by G A Rosenberg
Still travelling, now back in England. Tomorrow Stonehenge then Tuesday home.. THis trip has been a great one and as I hoped as much an internal one as it has been an external one
“There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.”
Are these three mutually exclusive, wisdom, honour and gain? I mean the proletariat leaning side of me would love to see lovers of gain be of a different ilk than either lovers of wisdom or lovers of honour? What does it mean to be an honourable man?
“Dr. Mark Powell: How do you know right from wrong?
Prot: Every being in the universe knows right from wrong, Mark. ”
This quote strikes me hard. Hard enough that I’ve started writing this section three times and each time I went back and deleted it. I recall so many times in my life that I absolutely knew the right thing to do and I flat out did the opposite? For the life of me, I don’t know that I could give a good reason why. In at least a few cases, I wanted to see where doing the wrong thing would lead me? At other times, it just seemed to be the easiest choice to make given what the people around me were doing. At no time, did I ever come out of the situation saying “Wow, I’m glad I did that”. Most often the response was more like “Well, I paid the ticket and saw the show” I continued on.
Is that what honour is? Knowing the right thing to do and doing it? If so, does our inner integrity and honour go up as we do what we know is right and diminish when we don’t? Is it that shadow self, that I spoke of yesterday that pulls us back from doing the right thing if it can get an ego payoff by doing the opposite? How do I tame it?
These seem like trite questions yet in my life of late they become more meaningful every day. Blessings, G </h4>
Click on image to see full-size:
Radiating Mandala by G A Rosenberg
Elevator by G A Rosenberg