Friday, September 2, 2011

Ending Idealism, Restoring Sanity

When this life is perceived to be okay *as it is* then all the abstraction of discontented idealism is revealed as false and discarded. One might say that idealistic philosophies rightly pertain not to the spiritual or inner personal realms but exclusively to the desire for social change and revolution. There is conflict inherent in every moment where the real is rejected in favor of some alternative ideal. The word 'ideal' itself implies a discontentment with the actual, the here and the now. What I project as a future possibility is unreachable unless there be a corresponding experience of wealth or perfection this moment... an inwardly abundant and joyful essence that exists whether anything outwardly manifests or not.

Pleasurable escapes, everything from food binging and television to alcoholism and drug addiction or socialized entertainments, are the response of wanting to be elsewhere and away from reality as it is happening normally. It is a natural response while at the same time a tragic indication of an unenlightened modern workaday industrial age. Technology and the internet, while having their many benefits for humankind and society at large, contribute even further to the escapist tendencies of a consumer society. To seek and find temporary contentment online, at the local bar, a movie or other entertainments available, while okay in itself becomes a primary frustrating factor where contentment with self and reality is concerned.

Religious groups and organizations often have this counter-productive influence as well, however enlightening the company of believers, as this becomes another escape from experiencing directly one's own truth and all that personally stands in the way of it. To identify too much with spiritual groups and their causes is to alienate from all who are not of the same affiliation, and there's a tendency to believe and value the experiences and ideas of others over those of oneself. While many of us rightly desire peace, love, kindness and heaven on earth, the tendency to be displeased with things as they are again becomes a problem in response. The general effect is a split and thus conflict between the conventional religious believer and the rest of humanity, between the constructed artificial socio-religious ideal and actuality. Real life includes all of us universally as beings, not all of us as Buddhists, Jews or Christians... and not as mere recipients of kindness or charity from a given religious affiliation.

The urgent need is to confront the mundane on a very personal individual level, whether one is interested in society and it's manifold creations or not. The joy is in the doing itself, in the very working process that gives meaning to the life of the individual. When ordinary awareness and attention is applied to the everyday, what we call mundane reality and responsibility, it becomes less necessary to focus on the outward problems of the world whose origin is within. If you are doing all you can as an individual, this is enough struggle and the rest of one's energy and ingenuity is then focused on "outside the box" solutions, or just being.

The ground of being becomes the central focus of mindful attention, without attachment to all the externals that come and go. The affirmation: "I AM living this life to the fullest" and not "I will someday".

Keep it Real...


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