The grace of Death is that it ends all suffering. It also ends all joy. It is not to be feared, but neither is it to be sought out and hastened. Death is final. But Life goes on. A tree riddled with holes falls in the forest; a seedling reaches for the sunlight.
One cricket speaks; listen. Smile at its song. But remember that the field is filled with crickets.
There is so much noise. The carnival, the blitzkrieg, urgent calls to action, manic laughter, guns and motors, sirens and alarms, sturm und drang. It exhausts the mind and spirit. Let there be the sanctuary of silence. Let there be the peace of birdsong.
Giving up can be an act of sanity. Think of Ahab.
Dreams and memories are constructs of the mind. Both are important; neither should be mistaken for reality.
Reality might be described as that which causes our endeavors to succeed or fail regardless of our desires. We cannot know reality for certain, but only a fool or a madman would claim it does not exist at all.
Arrogance is presuming that anyone else cares who you are or what you think; celebrity is when they do.
Why do people keep doing the same thing over and over when it clearly doesn’t work? Perhaps because it’s all they know how to do, and they feel they must do something.
The ripe summer peach is a joy. When it can be had the year round, the joy is diminished to routine. Having whatever you want whenever you want it brings not satisfaction but ennui.
The wisdom that can be articulated is doomed to fall short. Every insight, put into practice, can be stymied by exceptional circumstances. Life is always far more complex than our attempts to understand it. Which does not mean that we shouldn’t try, or should surrender our reason to some imagined higher power. Any higher power would be as unknowable as the reality that eludes us, so we might as well apply our efforts to the world we can see and test. We stand a better chance of success with that than with any being whose nature or existence cannot be verified at all.
Uncertainty applies to all things. Navigating life is an exercise in playing the odds of what seems most likely. I’m willing to bet that the ground will remain solid beneath my feet and the earth will turn to receive the sun’s light tomorrow. This takes no leap of faith.
Connecting with other humans beings is precious and vital. If you do so easily, treasure this gift. It is your key to happiness.
If each of us is too immersed in our own misery to be able to reach out to the other, no real communication is possible.
Each day is an opportunity. I go to bed at night, haunted by all the things I have failed at during the day. But there is tomorrow. Tomorrow I have the chance to do it right. To act mindfully. To make the right decisions, ones that will bring a sense of satisfaction when I go to bed at night instead of a sense of failure. As long as there is life, there is opportunity.
We want to be loved for who we are. Not for who we could be, or who we once were, or for what another person imagines us to be. We want unconditional love, based on a clear understanding of the real person. Finding this love requires the confidence to be authentic. This takes more courage than most people have. We fear that our true selves are not lovable. The tragedy is that too often, we are right.
Compassion is the most important emotion we can cultivate. Compassion for others, but also compassion for oneself. The kindness another deserves from us, do we not deserve to give to ourselves?
Not just each day, but each moment is an opportunity. Indeed, it is only in the present moment that we have the opportunity to do anything at all.
In each moment we can choose life or death. If we choose life, there will be a next moment when we can choose again. If we choose death, all choice is ended.
Death is an end to suffering. But what of those left behind?