The philosopher Owen Flanagan puts it this way: “We are born into families and communities with an image of persons already in place. We have no say about the location in space of images into which we are born. The image antedates us, often by centuries. . . . Once we reach an age where we do have some control, we work from the image, from the story that is already deeply absorbed, a story line that is already part of our self-image.” We can become stout defenders of that self-image even as it becomes less and less about ourselves and more and more about an externally imposed image….. Continue reading
Be aware that through me you are not going to gain anything. Through me you can only lose all – because unless you are lost, the divine cannot happen; unless you disap¬pear totally, the real cannot arise. You are the barrier.
And you are so much, so stubbornly much, you are so filled with yourself that nothing can penetrate you. Your doors are closed. When you disappear, when you are not, the doors open. Then you become just like the vast, infinite sky.
That is your nature. That is Tao.
Before I enter into Chuang Tzu’s beautiful parable of The Empty Boat, I would like to tell you one other story, because that will set the trend for this meditation camp which you are entering.
I have heard …
It happened once, in some ancient time, in some unknown country, that a prince suddenly went mad. The king was desperate – the prince was the only son, the only heir to the kingdom. All the magicians were called, miracle makers, medical men were summoned, every effort was made, but in vain. Nobody could help the young prince, he remained mad. Continue reading
We receive a fatal imprint in childhood, at the time of our greatest plasticity, of our passive impressionism, of our helplessness before suggestion. In no period has the role of the parents loomed as immense, because we have recognized the determinism, but at the same time an exaggeration in the size of the Enormous Parent does not need to be permanent and irretrievable. Continue reading
“When I say maturity, I mean an inner integrity. And this inner integrity comes only when you stop making others responsible, when you stop saying that the other is creating your suffering, when you start realizing that you are the creator of your suffering. This is the first step towards maturity: I am responsible. Whatsoever is happening, it is my doing. Continue reading
I was jogging this morning and I noticed a person about half a mile ahead. I could guess he was running a little slower than me and I felt good, I said to myself I will try catch up with him.
I had about a km before I needed to turn off. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 feet behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. I was determined to catch up with him. Continue reading
I often refer to tearing thoughts. These are thoughts that attack us, like “I am weak. I am worthless. I am no good. That-other person is better than I am”. Tearing thoughts are an extraordinary psychological phenomenon. When cells take the wrong path and start to attack the organ they live in, we call it cancer. Tearing thoughts are a kind of autoimmune failure of the mental body. Continue reading
The only thing that thrives on pressure is a tire. Now, you might be one of those people who says, “but wait, I use pressure all the time in order to produce results.” Notice that I used the word “thrive”. Yes, you might be producing the results but not in a way that takes care of you. Continue reading
Nothing, Jung said, can be changed unless it is first accepted. Until then, a condition remains un-approachable and ominous. The same wisdom is found in an ancient fable. Continue reading
The greatest reason for our need to know ourselves is that we may become greater channels for the expression of the living spirit in helpfulness to others.
Whether we are dealing with a student who is maladjusted, or a marriage which is skidding toward failure, or a war neurosis, the essentials of a therapeutic experience seem to be the same. Continue reading