On that note, we can now understand why Hillel said, “Don’t do unto others what you would not want done to you,” which is the inverse of love thy neighbor. Why not word it in the positive, as Christianity did: “Do unto others as you would want them to do to you”?
Doesn’t this sort of show the evolution or progression of religion? The underlying truth is the same, the wording is just going from negative to positive. The alternate wording provides another aspect to help more people understand the same truth. I liken this to our own internal evolution of thought, but on a much broader scale. What would a few hundred years of evolution do to a message as it spread among people, playing an early version of the telephone game (Chinese whispers)? The minds that message must have traveled through!! Of course, the article goes on to point out that it is easier to not do harm to our enemy vs. loving them. We shouldn’t skip out on doing things because they are hard.
When leaving a restaurant from having dinner with one of my friends I was approached by a man exiting his van. He said that he and his family were stranded there from a city a hundred miles from here. The only cash that I had in my wallet was a fifty that I was saving for emergencies. I told the man that I did not have any cash since I didn’t want to give him the fifty. I feel bad about this in hindsight. I have enough money where I could have given him this or better yet taken him to a hotel and paid for it on the spot. Yet I did not do this. And honestly, it is eating me up a little because I feel like I wasn’t charitable when I could have been.
This man’s life is no different than if I had never went to the restaurant or even if I came out a few minutes earlier or later. But there we were. Our paths crossed and my reaction was to not give him any money because I deemed the money I had to be to much to give to him. I am sure that he and his family made it through the night and are on their way without me, but I still can’t help but think about the possible positive impact that I could have had on his situation and I chose to close up. All I can do is forgive myself and allow myself to be open for the next situation.
If we are a simulation, then we must be a recursive function, a fractal. With each iteration, the fractal animates. The iterations extend forward and backwards through infinity. A given iteration in the fractal represents a specific point in time, the collapsed state of everything. Every unique particle existing in a specified state to form matter, light, reality. Each step represents a quantum frame of information, and the movement of the steps flips through the frames and animates reality.
IFS fractals, as they are normally called, can be of any number of dimensions, but are commonly computed and drawn in 2D. The fractal is made up of the union of several copies of itself, each copy being transformed by a function (hence “function system”). The canonical example is the Sierpinski gasket also called the Sierpinski triangle. The functions are normally contractive which means they bring points closer together and make shapes smaller. Hence the shape of an IFS fractal is made up of several possibly-overlapping smaller copies of itself, each of which is also made up of copies of itself, ad infinitum. This is the source of its self-similar fractal nature.
This post is the most popular post on my site. Every day I get a handful of hits from people linking from other sites, but mostly from search engine queries. The topic is my anticipated trip to Inner Engineering put on by Sadhguru and Isha Yoga. For some reason, the mantra of the meditation “I am not the body, I am not even the mind” shows up at the top of Google search results. I guess it is the right combination of words or tags or links or comments or something.
Yesterday in the car the kids were talking about going swimming on Sunday. My oldest said that a lot of people go to church on Sunday, and my wife said that Catholics go on Saturday night for mass. He then asks what is a Catholic, to which my wife replies “it is a form of religion”. And then what is religion, and she says it is what you believe. He doesn’t miss a beat and says “Well I believe in Santa, and the Easter Bunny.” And it go me thinking, why isn’t there a church for Santa and the Easter Bunny? We place them on such pedestals during the holidays and we encourage children to believe in them. It is funny that there isn’t a full blow church dedicated to this. Then I thought about our shopping malls. The trees we erect, the rituals that we go through each year paying homage to Santa and EB. Oh we have a pretty good religion going for these two already.
I am not trying to turn this into a religious post. I honestly try to stay away from judgments like that. Although I have to admit that when three boys all dressed the same got out of a car when we were leaving yesterday, I did say the word “cult” a little loudly. Which is wrong. These boys are fervent about their beliefs, so much so that they are willing to dress in slacks and shorts with ties on a hot day. They are willing to go door to door and listen to jerks like me whisper things that they can hear. They know what they will encounter, but they care about your soul and they are willing to give up their free time to talk you into seeing things their way. Really kudos to them. It doesn’t jive with me, but I try to allow everyone to have their own belief system. All paths lead to the same destination. I think that there is absolutely no denying that. The path may go through multiple “lives” to get there, but it all ends the same. Back where it started.
How ever much we feel we are bound by karma, we are bound. That karmic burden is carried forward into the next cycle where we accumulate or hopefully deposit until there is no more left.
Letting go of the unessential is tough. “What if I need it later?” “It is a lot of work to actually get rid of it.” The mind talks and we listen. We throw our idea out there and the mind sits in our way playing devil’s advocate*. But this is really just one last hurdle to overcome. When sitting alone with the mind we are sitting alone with the universe. When alone we cannot deny that everything that we are experiencing is only something that we will experience. This is something absolutely unique that will never be repeated again. And …
Meaning that we tell our own story. If we make a mistake when we are alone** it is not a mistake. It is a learning experience. We tell our own story on how we came to be where we are. There is no one else that can tell that exact story. The lines cross here and there and shared stories are pretty epic, but from cradle to grave only you can tell your story.
I hear the song of the nightingale.
The sun is warm, the wind is mild,
willows are green along the shore,
Here no bull can hide!
What artist can draw that massive head,
those majestic horns?
When one hears the voice, one can sense its source. As soon as the six senses merge, the gate is entered. Wherever one enters one sees the head of the bull! This unity is like salt in water, like color in dyestuff. The slightest thing is not apart from self.
I sometimes struggle with how much information to give someone vs. letting them figure it out on their own. This is both at work and at home with my kids. I guess it goes back to the whole “If you give a man a fish…” dealie. Continuing to give out free fish is putting me in a situation of being the fisherman. Not a bad occupation by any means, but it does get a little smelly and I have my eyes set on dry land.
It is most definitely a practice in patience. I get torn between wanting to get the task done and wanting to allow the person to learn (and ultimately leave me alone 🙂 ). I also don’t want the other person to think that I am dragging them along. If they get frustrated then it is of no use. They will dismiss everything that they are doing as busy work. The goal is that at the end they either know how to do it or have enough information to figure out how to do it on their own. It is a balancing act.
It is frustrating to me while doing this. I want to shake the person and say “Why don’t you know how to do this? Why am I the only one paying attention?”. I don’t. Luckily today everything has been through instant message, so it has allowed me to think more about my reaction. At some point the giving of information and letting people struggle becomes natural and I take over when needed. Or at least when I feel it is needed. This is all just an extension of my practice. Today I learn about patience and acceptance.
Of course, now the parallels come into play. If I am teaching others like this, how am I being taught? How much information am I being given vs. banging my head on the wall to find out on my own? And if I have that sort of abandoned feeling, is that just me being left to figure it out myself. The end result being that it is something that is more rewarding and more meaningful to me and my experience. Maybe I don’t get the exact correct answer or maybe I go about it a different way than is initially prescribed. The end result is the same. Eventually, the lesson is forgotten and we are left with our instincts on how to return.