As I rush to my destination, I often overlook the beauty along the way. I am so focused on getting somewhere — anywhere — that real life just neglects me. Our image of time, historically, is not a positive one, is it? With the pain, pestilence, and plague that exist in civilization, even today in modern society, it is often easy to bypass the truth — we live in a beautiful world, and it has always been so. Intricate and comely nature stands behind all reality. We all feel this when we take a walk in a verdant forest or a stroll along a windswept beach, I am sure. But my eyes must be open to the fact that my reality is filtered through my perception of existence. Love and hope are part of my personal commitment to the way I want to live, are they not?
But, to stay optimistic is a ferocious fight. The world seems weighty and negative. Thus, what am I to do? I believe that we must make a fundamental choice to thwart the “hand of darkness” and turn towards the light. I begin with the premise that good is stronger than evil and happiness is a basic desire of all human beings. (1) When a child is born, it is not intrinsically wicked or depraved. All human beings are born pure and in a state of innocence. Though some religious traditions hold that baptism purifies the soul, (2) it is not hard to believe that this is more tradition than reality. Mankind is intrinsically good and has to learn to commit evil. It is the same with pulchritude. Earth is an exquisite creation. Though nature may seem cruel in its drive to propagate, its essence is dazzling and glorious.
What then is one to make of the madness that now frames human society? Conflict and pain seemingly dominate most discourse — certainly when you look at the news media. The divide between levels of society materially, ecologically, and spiritually is more pronounced than ever — notwithstanding that in the First World, (3) depending on our social class, we live better, appreciably than the rest of humanity. Nonetheless, Gaia will not allow this to continue (4) in its present rapacious form. Are greed, barbarism, and cruelty truly hallmarks of humanity?
No! I, for one, think not. A new direction is where we are going as a people. A radical idea, “the concept of we, as opposed to me,” will move into everyday life. (5) Human kindness and love will eventually extend everywhere. My job is to manifest this by simply viewing life through a hopeful prism — and why not? Why not be excited about life and its machinations. It is a beautiful world. We only have to look deeper than the scum on the surface. Swami Vivekananda (6) leaves us with a thought: Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light.
A closing thought: “Will it be a good day or a bad day?” is a question that each of us can ask as we begin the day. Due to the fact that we have free will and an independent mind, we can decide on the answer. I usually opt for the former as opposed to the latter, but it is up to me — as it is up to you. From Viktor Frankl: (7) Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
To sum up: This week we spoke about the beauty of life and how to achieve its reality.
To be noted: From a traditional Czech saying — Wisdom is easy to carry but difficult to gather.
Just for fun:
This week on your pensive walk, please think about how you perceive your gift of life.
Every day look for something magical and beautiful.
Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great!
Quote: I allow the morning light to strike my face, beckoning me to another wonderful day.