As soon as I’ve said these three words I hesitate, there is a moment where doubt enters into the stream of my thoughts and I ask myself “What is the point?” This can set in motion a chain reaction which turns thought against itself in an endless series of questions about the validity, correctness or coherence of what I am trying to get at.
Get to the point. Explain yourself. The demand for explanations can completely disrupt my flow.
This is just one of many small ways that we are often asked to justify ourselves. Why is what I do of value? Who or what is it good for? How does what I do bring anyone closer to a desired goal? Even without being asked such questions, I often implicitly proceed from the attitude which they express: focus on the effects, show why doing something entails some personal or social benefit, vindicate how this is better then that.
The rush towards justifying or explaining ourselves has become routine in many of our (inter)actions, the normal way of proceeding. It is there in my feeling that I have to do something today on my day off, I must be productive in some way for this day to have any worth, I need to be able to tell myself my time was not wasted. If I am unable to justify something in this way I can end up feeling inadequate or worth less. This affects both small and large aspects of life in a deep way.Continue reading
Summer has struck, though for us here in Southern New England it has been mercifully cool so far. The centripetal forces of this season have had their affect on our little band. It has become difficult to gather us around the circle for a number of weeks now and it may be time to just announce a hiatus until the first premonitions of Autumn in early September.
I may be able to post something here occasionally before then. For today, I’m repaying the way I’ve tended to ignore the call to write for Horizons of Significance as I followed the urges to get this site up and running by posting a link here to a new post on that site: Contempt.
How do we confront our predicament creatively? One of the most significant aspects of our situation, a factor that has become increasingly harder to avoid over the years, has been the need to acknowledge the growing futility of so many avenues of action we’ve been accustomed to take for granted.
This has led to frustration, a sense of being hemmed-in. We balk at the edge of disillusionment, afraid of what might be on the other side. Instead of dealing with our situation we end-up increasingly defending our emotional reactions, afraid of what it might mean if we gave-up on our strategies. Strategies intended to provide us avenues of action, but strategies that have become nests of unintended consequences that proliferate suffering while distracting us from the possibility of arriving at any other way of being.
The hardest thing – among many difficult aspects – when working within a flow can be in the way we confront the tangle of expectations and predictions tempting us away from where we are into fictions and fantasies. The same old thing, tomorrows and yesterdays. The past and the future.
It’s hard not to ask, “What’s next?”
Uncertainty is uncomfortable, especially when we face it alone, in a seeming void.
The trouble is, once this question intrudes we are not attending to what’s now. This constricts our prospects of what might come next right at the moment we are most concerned with having things turn out better.
We’re still in “beta mode.” Not quite ready to take our conversations on-line. More on that soon….
In the mean-time we’ve had weekly sessions among our core group with whoever shows-up on a given Sunday. At the end of last week’s conversation Declan asked me to take another look at Krishnamurti & Bohm‘s final session in a series, The Ending of Time. I haven’t had a chance to share my response with him yet.
This week Declan and Emily and I arrived at the topic of time from another direction. Declan mentioned that many of those who have expressed interest in this project temper their enthusiasm by voicing frustration over a lack of time to get involved.
In their video Krishnamurti and Bohm are two elderly men. Both, most likely, already terminally ill, reaching an apogee on the trajectory of their conversations. There is an air of… well of a lack of air in the last fifteen minutes. A sense they have reached a point, out there…. And they are about to fall to earth. Just shy of recognizing where it all might lead. A striving tone, flickers just at the edge of their words. A striving they would repudiate under any other circumstance. A boyish, awkward, shy, final probing. A latent egocentricity flirting, with a tacit, innocent selfishness as they ask if there might be “more to it….”