“The student of virtue has no contentions“
“Better to be in deep sorrow than to observances for a minute”
“Things that are past are needless to blame” Confucius
Part of my daily morning routine is to read Confucius this year, last year it was a Zen Buddhism book. I also read other books as part of my learning experience to start the day with insight and reflection.(Part of my journaling process in my book of life). I love all philosophy especially oriental wisdom of the greats to broaden my western mind. Todays post will focus on the difficultly of acceptance that I believe is the common struggle of humanity for many. Acceptance has its right hand holding contentment but in the left hand the soul wants another direction. The highs and lows of life are the landscape of life’s journey. The denial that nothing effects you is tantamount of strangling the soul of your authentic identity. Emotions are one way the soul expresses the true self not having its needs met from a core value of who you are. The mind or more distinctly the limited human brain is the cause of all suffering or in the Buddhism idea of attachments. Letting go or accepting how life really is at present is a master life long obsession. The main reason from a secular perspective for attachments is focussed on the future built on consumerism. The propaganda infiltrating in the media that you need this and that fills the egoic human brain with emptiness. The letting go is not easy and I have read the books and I am a stubborn optimist and wow my brain effects my emotional need for this and that now and again. Good ideas letting go from Zen practice (Im not a Buddhist) https://zenhabits.net/attachments/The student of virtue has no contentions
The student of virtue has no contentions is one tool in adjusting to the stable state of acceptance.Benjamin Franklin made a summary in his auto biography about his 13 virtues. Summary in this simple post of his virtues if you’re interested https://alyjuma.com/13-virtues/
The origin of the word virtue comes from a persons character https://www.etymonline.com/word/virtue reminds me of the famous philosophy saying know thyself. To know thyself is from the inside out. This is core transcript with many philosophers realisation that others ideologies and popular opinion stopped their empirical observation. The enlightenment period was proceeded by superstition and governance of superiors. The authentic self or soul can be strangled by teachings and ideas that don’t resonate with who you are. Exploring core values or virtues is an evaluation of your true character that is manifested in the world of your reality. Knowing thyself involves what Confucius said be no contentions. Contentions has opposite theme to acceptance. Imagine the the soul arguing with the false self because the character or virtue deep within doesn’t match your identity. One of my virtues is honesty as an example , it is easy to your honest BUT are you honest with your soul or true self. This is the contentions I wrestle with from time to time. Being honest with self involves the ideas and emotions that trigger the soul and false self in to a fight. Knowing thyself is a journey of discovery and a lifelong path of enlightenment of attaining the real you by transformation(liberation of the soul). Abraham Maslow said that peak experiences result of difficuties or I would say actualisations come from struggles first. He said what would be the point of having an escalator to the top of Mount Everest(think about that awesome concept). I would say digging for gold takes effort and a shifting through the unwanted rocks and sand takes time. Confucius said in essence about actualisation or becoming authentic or accepting who he was not fully apparent until the age of 70 when he was a master. Never be too hard on the soul because it is a lifetime of discovery.
Better to be in deep sorrow than to observances for a minute because fakers don’t make it. The denial of emotions is mainstream in western lands , especially in the UK. The main emotion I perceive from the internet and secularism promotes is happiness as the ultimate goal and move on by suppression of other emotions of the soul. I want labour this point too much but when my wife died of cancer, I had years of suppression of emotions that came flooding out. If it wasn’t for the kids I would of killed myself , thankfully I didn’t. The internal pain sent me on my quest HOW THE HELL CAN I STOP THIS internal torture? My soul had been strangled for nearly 50 years by not being the authentic self. I was a people and God pleaser, believing no one would love me if I didn’t do what they wanted me to be or even worst I would die. Thankfully my soul got me to where I am today and I am eternally grateful. On a cautionary note, it is not a judgement , by not accepting emotional flow of emotions(energy), will strangle you literally and can even kill you. I could give you ten books to read but this isn’t point of this post. One book to read if interested on this point https://www.besselvanderkolk.com/resources/the-body-keeps-the-score
The acceptance of feelings is an adjustment especially in my experiences. Take away the judgements and see if you have allowed sufficient time to process the emotion psychologically. The brains classifies everything especially unfamiliar emotions as a good or negative reaction. The little monkey(ego) wants to feed on the emotions or throw it out of the cage. At uncomfortable emotional situations the brain looking back or forward trying to make sense of it. Big problem the brain hates being present with the emotion ,so train the mind to shut down the little monkey(ego) with meditation. Quick 15 minute meditation can quiet the ego , process emotions easier to be truly present.
Things that are past are needless to blame because you cant change the past, you can only change your perspective. I can relate to this and coined the phrase where’s there blame there is pain. The soul is strangled by the ego holding on to attachments in life. Problem we have with attachments it can become our identity because the ego believes accolades are what the true self needs from a earthly perspective. Accepting that one day we are all going to lose this earthly body is reality that is often pushed back into the darkest recess of the mind. The duality of the world we came into in human existence is the illusion that puts a vail over our consciousness. Acceptance at a deeper level as Carl Jung likens it to the shadow work can be scary. This gives you insight to untangle the soul because the shadow of the soul can reveal aspects that have been hidden. Take away the judgements or blame and see what lessons or aspects it relates to the authentic self. Illustrate that a car needs fixing may at times stripping back the engine to to reconfigure or renew a broken part. You wouldn’t criticised or blame the broken part but adjust it or replace it. The mechanic would use skill and attention to optimised the car to its capacity again. Similar fashion shadow work is accepting the flaws and if they can be repaired or adjusted do the work. This requires time and effort and investigation to the dark side of our nature. Uncovering painful aspects of the false self may see the shinning true self lurking below the surface. Allowing and accepting the soul to shine by removing blame from the vocabulary you will transcend to a heavenly perspective.