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May 2022

June 2022

“Do you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done.” - Tao Te Ching

Is it not yet already perfectly clear that all the fighting, resisting, arguing, debating, attacking, doing something about, and getting outraged has no impact at all?

With each new news cycle, each new election, each movement to change the world comes a swell of hope that ultimately fades or implodes. For how many more thousands of years will humans continue to believe in these illusions when reality is perfectly clear? I think we have reached the end of this fiction.

Is it not obvious that, however forcefully you might splash your hand into the ocean, you cannot change the natural balance, the very equilibrium of the ocean? You will create a wave, believe it is real for a brief moment, then the wave will fall in the exact opposite direction just as far, and finally, in calm weather, it will rest near its natural balancing point where it all began. Such is all of life. 

What you can do is to accept reality; which means always tell the truth, which means want only truth, which means greet everything that is and everything that happens with nothing other than complete acceptance. It is as it is. Align with the natural balance of reality and let it carry you. To resist reality, truth itself, is the ultimate act of foolishness.

There will be challenges, there will be errors of all sorts by all kinds of people. None of it is ultimately real because, in the end, every pendulum returns to its natural resting position. Rest there eternally, starting now. Remain there in the eternal now. This is wisdom and it is yours.

These aren't just words. They are meant literally and are meant to be lived (if you want joy, peace, the end of suffering for yourself and others).

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If you would like my perspective on any situation or issue you may be dealing with, write to me at mark.manney@abscondo.com.

Released from the past

To keep the past real is to carry a heavy load. As we go through life, we experience many challenges, we see unimaginable injustice, and we blame others for our suffering just as we hold ourselves guilty for so much.

To hold a grievance is to cling to painful memories. The more they accumulate, the more challenging it becomes for your mind to carry. At some point, non-forgiveness becomes the mind’s full-time job, robbing you of joy because endless attention and energy is diverted toward the telling of so many painful and inter-connected stories.

The mind convinces us that replaying grievances, understanding them, dissecting them, and making them real or fighting back is the way out from this hell. You feel as though you cannot just let it go; otherwise nothing will be resolved, and everyone will be let off the hook. In truth, the only one on the hook here is the one doing the carrying.

Error brings its own punishment, or it wouldn’t be error. The punishment always comes in the form of ongoing suffering and ultimately crisis. Isn’t it also an error to hold guilt over someone who has fixed the problem or is no longer causing it? By doing so, isn’t the non-forgiveness causing the problem now rather than the errors of the past?

If someone attacks or makes us suffer in some way, it is enough to respond naturally. We can point it out or even explain the problem lovingly. We can express ourselves fully, going into the emotions if needed, then we can let it go completely. We can forgive immediately and move on.

The past is not real because it is not here. To hold onto the past is to pull ourselves away from all that is here: life itself, in this eternal present moment. What problem is there here, now? Now we can move through life as guiltless as children because the baggage has been put aside.    

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If you would like my perspective on any situation or issue you may be dealing with, write to me at mark.manney@abscondo.com.

Let's look at hope

Who would accept a way of thinking in which love is feared, guilt is real, suffering is unavoidable, and joy is postponed? Why would anyone choose darkness after having been shown the light?
The underlying belief which makes the postponement of joy possible is this: sacrifice is necessary now because lasting happiness will be yours someday. This, the world celebrates as hope. Let us look at hope.

If you are already spiritually awakened, then hope is a meaningless concept. What is hope for when salvation has already arrived? But continue to rely upon the ego and all you have is hope because, surely, what you want has yet to arrive.

Most people spend their whole life waiting, seeking, hoping but never reaching the destination of perfect and lasting joy. Years can go by in sacrifice, still decades more, and yet the reward for all this sacrifice never quite arrives. You can place the blame on yourself for not working hard enough, or you can blame the world for its unfairness, but the truth is elsewhere: you are seeking salvation in false idols—where it cannot be found.

Rather than looking honestly at this, you may continue to sacrifice feeling good now for a fantasy of the future. You may avoid love now for the purpose of finding true love. You may ignore spiritual teachings, meditation, and a healthy way of living because you are too busy becoming sick at the altar of the future. You may live dishonestly to preserve a relationship that is making you both miserable. You may read the news each day waiting for the world to be declared safe. You may put off doing what inspires you because it is impractical at the moment. Still, you keep hoping that someday, somehow, all your dreams will come true and your life will be wonderful. How so?

A better future doesn’t exist, but a better present does. Patience isn’t a state of waiting; rather a superior way of being and doing. Love isn’t something you are working toward; it is there each moment you decide for it. Rest isn’t found in sleeping; rather, from waking. Joy is detached from external circumstance and is found in freedom.

What you have been hoping for can only be yours now and requires only a real decision for it.

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If you would like my perspective on any situation or issue you may be dealing with, write to me at mark.manney@abscondo.com.