Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Lasting Joy of a Simple Nature.

A friend of mine tells me it’s all about ‘intention’. He likes that word as a descriptor of all that defines a person, their motivations and their destiny. As I’ve gone along my way here I have come to see that he’s right in as far as any term can be comprehensive. Of course one might also take into consideration the source for intention and whatever shaping of character might have gone into the formation of intention. It always gets complicated before it gets simple. Simplicity for me begins in my surrender to my intuition; intuition defined is, ‘inner teaching’.

My real intentions come out of my intuition. Like everyone here I also get surface intentions from my mind and sometimes a combination of mind and emotions operating off the flash images of physical memory. When you stop smoking and you suddenly get a powerful image of smoking; that’s the physical memory I am talking about.

It is probably very widely understood that most people who go into medicine are not doing so out of a burning desire to heal; nor do people enter the law out of a burning desire to see justice done, or enter into politics to serve their constituents, or enter the priesthood because of a deep and compelling love for God.

It may be that all of these people entered into these fields with some intention of doing good but routine and the financing of a particular lifestyle usually take over on the intention front.

I’ve mentioned before that I am, what I call, a cultural voyeur. I like watching people; they fascinate me… really. I watch doctors and lawyers, politicians and clergymen. These, along with some few others fascinate me even more than most. It’s odd, or maybe not so odd, that with lawyers I nearly always get an oily sensation. I always feel a mind thinking around things, slithering, if you like; where this process is more important than the thing itself. I imagine that the qualities of a lawyer very often leak into the process of one’s private life.

Around doctors I very often get a sense of illness. I was around psychiatrists for awhile and I was struck by how often I felt dark and disturbed thoughts emanating from them. If you are at all bright and objectively reasoning in your observations, you know that doctors know very little about health. Their entire approach is wrong to begin with. Part of this is because the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical establishment and the HMO’s are all financially interactive. They depend on each other for continuing business. It is sad to say but, doctors require you to be in poor health so that they don’t run out of clients. Is this a conscious awareness and practice? Perhaps in some cases; however, let us say that the cycle of life itself is geared in this manner.

Somewhere, at some nexus in space, Coca Cola and McDonalds and the liquor companies and the medical profession and the pharmaceutical profession come together. Somewhere there are bean counting actuaries who share and compare and crunch the numbers and work to ratchet up the profit line. Rarely does objective reasoning enter into this adding and subtracting. That would defeat the intention of the whole. In other words, you have to ‘be deceived’ in order to practice deception.

There are companies whose metaphorical eyes widened and mouths smiled when they heard about New Orleans. They may have shrugged and said, “What are you gonna do?” as a kind of disclaimer which pronounces their connection to humanity and then they picked up the phone.

You often hear about corporations and how the board sits at the pleasure of the stock holders. You hear how dividends for the collective ownership of stockholders is job one. You hear a lot of things no matter where you are, unless you are in the middle of the desert or on a small ship at sea. It’s all good, whatever the company makes; whatever wastes it generates, whatever people may be harmed collaterally, whatever, whatever, because, it’s the dividends that count and they… benefit everybody; don’t they? In this way morality is determined by market forces. If you were an objectively reasoning sort of a guy/girl you’d be able to see where this ultimately leads.

Chuang Tzu has a story where he is sitting by a river bank when a minister from the court arrives. The minister says that the emperor wants to offer him a position as his advisor. Chuang Tzu asks the minister if he is aware of a certain large turtle that hangs in a great hall; its shell polished and inlaid with many gems. The minister replies in the affirmative. Next Chuang Tzu asks him where he thinks that turtle would rather be, hanging on that wall or waving its tail in the water in front of them. The minister answers that of course the turtle would rather be swimming in the river. Chuang Tzu replies, “Well, so would I, please leave me alone!” That’s a paraphrasing but it is accurate in intention.

I wonder often how it is that people rationalize to themselves what they do in order to maintain a particular lifestyle; why they would pile up riches far past the point of any possible need, trade in their wives like cars to impress people who wish them dead, screw other people as a matter of course and laugh about it with their confederates. My conscience is after me immediately if I shave points in my actions (football analogy) toward others. My conscience is Johnny on the Spot if I even think about getting around something or getting into something that I shouldn’t.

I couldn’t hold a job that I knew benefited so and so that benefited so and so that killed so and so. I couldn’t hold a job that dealt with a product I didn’t respect. I couldn’t hold a job that required me to lie. I have, by default, gravitated- in this life- through professions that were mostly free of such things; working in and/or owning restaurants, working at small time construction efforts and many things in the entertainment business and… occasionally efforts that did require me to lie and pretend and they didn’t last.

Sometimes I can close my eyes and see ranks and ranks of suited lawyers marching out of a mist, visible for some distance in passing and then marching back into a mist. Somewhere there is a factory that turns them out just like any factory turns out a product. I see doctors and politicians and clergymen also marching in ranks. In some way they all look like each other, share a common complexion and haircut. Strangely, they even get the same diseases; suffer similar mindsets at certain ages. I wonder about the layers of overlay that veil the inhabitant of the corporal product as it proceeds through destiny 139B toward sector 47A of the Resolution Chamber Quadrant.

I don’t know what the payoff is. Oh I can see what people get in a temporary way and I understand that part of the mind that convinces them that tomorrow will always come, in the spirit of “eat drink and be merry.” always leaving out the following part of, “for tomorrow we die.” or however it is actually phrased.

I can’t seem to get a handle on the payoff of most anything. I look at fame and fortune and I think some parts of that are nice as long as they remain secondary to ones real intention; as long as they are just a jacket one can put on and take off at will. Because there is nothing inherently wrong with being wealthy or possessing renown. What’s wrong are the pitfalls attendant for those in too much of a hurry to watch where they are going, or those who cannot bear the thought of losing any part of it, or those who will do anything to get it. Hey, easy come easy go.” that should always be in mind, even when it wasn’t “easy come”.

My intention is that I achieve a sense of wholeness independent of changing circumstances and appearances. My intention is that I never lose sight of simplicity, regardless of how complex the terrain may be. After all, there are certain standard tests that come automatically with any change in status and fortune. It seems to me that those who attain both success AND happiness (or at least peace of mind) are those who had the opportunity to measure and understand the relative value of things ‘before’ they got them.


Anonymous said...

It was nice to find something new this afternoon. Just some more really fine work.


Anonymous said...

wind and

rain and



Visible Origami

Anonymous said...

"My intention is that I achieve a sense of wholeness independent of changing circumstances and appearances."

Could there be a better goal than this?? I don't think so. I think that's what it's all about.


Anonymous said...

I figure you are writing at least one book every couple of months. Funny how it adds up. Posterity and all that.


Anonymous said...

Why I didn't become a lawyer was the suit thing. Later my objections became much more complicated.


Anonymous said...

In ancient China the villagers would pay their doctor only when they were healthy.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful site. The writing is powerful and unique. Thank you for providing much needed contrast.




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