ego prides itself on being ‘civilized’ (predictability in arbitrary ways deemed acceptable by society) yet can’t deal with the possibility of having no free will.
Even an emperor is no match for a man with no wants.
Intolerance is evidence of impotence.
The world laughs with one who laughs; nobody is interested in one who weeps.
Thought has developed traditionally in a way that claims not to be affecting anything but just telling you the way things are. Therefore people can not see that they are creating a problem and then apparently trying to solve it. The ecology has not in itself a problem, it works perfectly well by itself. It’s due to us.
That’s a problem because we are thinking in a certain way, by breaking everything up and each person is doing his own thing. Therefore the ecological problem is due to thought. Thought thinks it is a problem out there and I must solve it. Now that doesn’t make sense because simultaneously thought is doing all the activities which make the problem and then does another set of activities to try to overcome it.
We humans are manifestly here for problem-solving and, if we are any good at problem-solving, we don’t come to utopia, we come to more difficult problems to solve.
Briefly the position is this. We have learnt that the exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality, but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating. Feeling that there must be more behind, we return to our starting point in human consciousness — the one centre where more might become known. There we find other stirrings, other revelations, than those conditioned by the world of symbols… Physics most strongly insists that its methods do not penetrate behind the symbolism. Surely then that mental and spiritual nature of ourselves, known in our minds by an intimate contact transcending the methods of physics, supplies just that… which science is admittedly unable to give.
Those who give us a hard time, who are difficult to be around or who constantly blow our cover, are the very ones who show us where we we’re stuck. The great meditation master Atisha always traveled with his belligerent Bengali tea-boy because it kept him honest. Without his ill-tempered servant to test him, he might have been able to deceive himself about his degree of equanimity. Troublemakers up the ante: if we can practice patience with them, we can practice it with anyone.
A strong person, alert and aware, will start to change himself…not the situation in which he is. Because really the situation cannot be changed – even if you can change the situation, there will be other situations. Every moment situations go on changing so every moment the problem will be there.
In a word, acts of any kind produce habits or characters of the same kind. Hence we ought to make sure that our acts are of a certain kind; for the resulting character varies as they vary.