I've Lived In Chico, CA 9 Years Now. Incredible.
The Secret to Not Having Worries
…is to have ideas. ~ Eugene Delacroix
On Saturdays I will often make a donation run to one of the many Salvation Army or other charity thrift shops. I do this not only to give, but to receive through engaging with others. For some folks, the work of cleaning and readying donated items for sale represents what they do for a living because they are able to do this kind of work. Many volunteers feel the support they offer is a labor of love. I like being around them.
Today at a Salvation Army shop, I passed a man, a customer, who spoke loudly about politics at the register. This isn’t unusual in politically fractionated Butte County. I didn’t get involved, but I listened to what he said to a largely agreeable audience consisting of the cashier and a few customers. Here are the points he made:
- He longed desperately for the world of the early 1960s, where everything in the country (in his view) appeared stable and hopeful.
- No matter who wins the upcoming election, we are all destined to live in a world that will only get worse.
- It has to get worse because we are supporting too many people in our country, and besides that, we are in too much debt to other countries. We can never break this cycle of indebtedness.
- He has no solutions, but he is angry and resigned. We need to all hunker down because our glory days have passed. Oh, and our kids are doomed too, guaranteed, and could expect their lives to be an endless grind of bored hopelessness because this country has gotten so far off track the past 15-20 years.
I wasn’t going to touch any of this in public. I only tried to figure out where he was laying the blame, and neither he nor I made much headway there. Driving home, I thought about him and the bystanders who nodded their heads without argument or even mild rebuttal. I like to think that people knew better than to spontaneously buy into this belief system, but for all I knew, they basically agreed.
My mind then wandered further back to the years I spent in a study group that examined the ideas and thinking of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a thinker whose perspective aligned fairly closely with many physicists and scientists of his day, all the way to this one. An imperfect man with a unique way of looking at life, his admirers and those he engaged in public dialogues include Aldous Huxley, Jonas Salk, George Bernard Shaw, Iris Murdoch, Huston Smith, David Bohm, and others.
When I got home, I rounded up some of his books (which, by the way, he didn’t write - people who admired him accumulated his thoughts and published them for posterity). I found the following phrases I’d highlighted for myself, which I present in no particular order below. He was a master of ideas and I can do no better than this, as I myself hang on to the view that, no matter who holds the offices of the future, the world can improve in lots of ways….even if it is only the part of the world we happen to find our own selves in.
All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual word, which has so unfortunately divided man.
Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.
Hitler and Mussolini were only the primary spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power that are in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared, there will always be confusion and hate, wars and class antagonisms.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.
What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.
Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem.
If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect.
The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
The end is the beginning of all things, suppressed and hidden, awaiting to be released through life's rhythm of pain and pleasure.
The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.
A man who is not afraid is not aggressive, a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free, a peaceful man.
In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.
Read about JK here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiddu_Krishnamurti