May 20th, 2020

Quote of the day

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Beginner's mind

There exists a liminality to life, namely, where we are to where we want to be.

Sometimes we cross the threshold from this world to the next but, mostly, we're ensnared to an old, often arid (i.e. repetitious) life. 

It's conjecture I know, but some people aren't compelled to embrace their life-in-potential ("[their] one wild and precious life" — The Summer Day, Mary Oliver), or if they were, they've long since abandoned it in a loving and gracious way. 

One of the practices we're offered to cross the Rubicon is to adopt beginner's mind. In other words, to empty our mind (or is it emptied by a higher force?) of all past conditioning or future worries and assume we know nothing about the task in hand.

I wonder:

a) if that ever happens?
b) or can ever happen, given the depth of our past programming? and
c) if it ever works — i.e. we actually change our lives and for the better?

Take a step back for a moment (bear with me, please). 

We say we're in charge. 

Free will and choice and all that. 

Are we though, in charge? 

From an epistemological perspective, how do we know that? Have we ever tried to go to the root of our will or even, and this is the challenging part, to consider who or what wills our will?

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