The good is one thing, the gratifying is quite another;
their goals are different, both bind a man.
Good things await him who picks the good;
by choosing the gratifying, one misses one’s goal.
Both the good and the gratifying
present themselves to a man;
The wise assess them, note their difference;
and choose the good over the gratifying;
But the fool chooses the gratifying
rather than what is beneficial.
We must overcome the habits of gratification
which lead us in the direction of routine behaviors.
The great burden of living as one of these 21st Century beings, these entities so caught-up in these times, is that you are bent down under the weight of pseudo-obligations.
You are so very BUSY.
Always you are underway making-do in order to achieve some-natural-thing. Where is the leisure for you to master the skills of making, to practice the habits of doing, or to perfect the methods of thinking?
Rather, you encounter yourself–when you find a few seconds to do even do that–in a kind of mindlessness, a rote & mechanical gratification matrix. What reasoning there is to be found in your day to day life becomes naught but rationalizations that everything is fine.
And, as they sometimes say in 12 step groups like AA or NA, “Yep, it is certainly f.i.n.e… Fuck-up. Insecure. Neurotic. Egotistical.
“For whoever wills to save his soul, destroys it;
but whoever will give up his soul for my sake, this one saves it.”
Jesus, Luke 9:24
If for a moment you bracket Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God and simply let him be the Son of Humanity, fully awake & mindful, you can see his paradoxical statement in a different light, a flash of a distinct brilliance:
Give up what you are trying to save, lose what you are clinging to, for the sake of me–where me is “human being”– and you will gain a possibility you did not even know you had.
I know this takes the statement out of its context. But try to be playful. See it from many angles, even ones that might be wrong. And then, you might see in this statement something understood by the sages of India: To be born a human being is a wonderful event because it gives you the opportunity to achieve freedom through your ownmost & decisive effort.
Being mindful of your humanity throws new light on your self. In that new light, the Good becomes possible. In the possibility of the Good, self & non-self evaporate. Pseudo-obligations fall away. Routine behaviors of busy making-do cease. Ownmost thinking is achieved; the unnecessary empties out and you have the leisure to be your ownmost Self: a beautiful expression of the All-Encompassing.
That is philosophizing as a way of life: leaping from the now into eternity, from here into omnipresence, from being a closed machine to being an open gateway.
“Do or do not;
there is no try.”
- Meditation is inquiry into the very being of the meditator (teachingsofmasters.wordpress.com)