Compositions of a more general nature including ethics, thoughts about life and views about human nature, our times and evolution.
Who Is in Control?
Life is indeed a mystery to us all. We ask questions about why or how we even exist at all or about the purpose and meaning of life as we move along through it. When we do not get an answer, which we almost invariably do not, we continue on our way. Every now and then, we may stop and consciously ponder these questions as if hopeful that at some point the answers will materialize. Either that or we decide for ourselves what we think the answers are and then live our lives accepting that whatever answers we have are our personal truth. Our answers may or may not be correct, though it really does not matter at all. What matters is what we decide matters, nothing more nothing less.
No one can tell us the answers to these questions we must come to our own conclusions. Further, no one can give meaning to our lives except us. Life is a series of experiences that we go through. We experience what we are “supposed to”, not because it was predestined to occur, rather because what we manifest is a reflection of what we are in any given life. For many, this is hard to accept, as the sources of their struggles seem beyond their control. As many great teachers have tried to explain, each in their own way, this is part of the illusion.
The Gift of Memories....
This time of the year is one where we can draw closer together. The rich traditions carrying on through us bring out the spirit of the season. Our compassion, caring and love for each other can strengthen and renew friendships and create new ones. It is also a time of strong emotions that have their foundation in our past; for many they are positive, for others not so. This is why this season we often find ourselves somewhat introspective. Yet, this too has great value to us, for we can use it to help us grow.
As December 25th draws closer, memories often rush back into our lives, sometimes in whole streams, a grand Christmas Eve dinner with friends, a favourite gift opening or reunion and at other times just a glimmer, the briefest glimpse more felt than “seen”. We find ourselves smiling or perhaps the opposite, but we do react in the here and now to those memories.
A Discussion of Ethics
I have had many interesting and challenging discussions over the years and been asked a variety of questions. The ones that are among the most challenging to answer or even speak to are not the highly technical or mystical and deep, they are those pertaining to ethics. Any discussion of ethics involves morality and includes such notions as good and evil or right and wrong. This is sufficient to add layers of complexity to any situation. Questions of right and wrong are problematic by nature; I did a partial examination of such notions such in the essay “A Consideration of Opposites”.
Ethics are important to anyone on a personal or spiritual growth path, not so much as a measure of accomplishment rather as a way to gauge where you are or even what needs to be improved. They are important because without them progress is limited. Hence, the purpose of this essay is to make you aware of ethics as they pertain to daily life and not to have you judge yourself for the ethical challenges you may have. We all have ethical challenges; if we did not have them, we likely would not need to be here.
Our Modern Times
This week marks both Canada and America's birthdays. It starts here with Canada Day on July 1st, and ends Independence Day celebrations south of the border. Growing up in Windsor Ontario meant experiencing both in what, next to Christmas, was the best long weekend of the year. School had just ended, the hot days of summer had us all dying for a little celebration. We would always go downtown to listen to the free concerts at Ambassador Park, which has since been renamed and enjoy the festivities. At the end of the weekend over a million people would be gathered on both sides of the river to enjoy one of the best fireworks displays anywhere.
I still remember the feel of those nights, the energy all around and it is much different than today. I felt similar 'vibes' last weekend when I went for a walk with my Uncle Jim in Saskatoon. He delighted me with stories about my dad, and their parents, cousins and grandparents, something I've missed since my dad passed away many years ago. As he spoke about the past it was clear that was a more subtle charm at play, a naivety if you will, that accompanied generations of people not overly consumed by what they had or could acquire.
As I sit at my desk and write this the predominant thoughts I have are around ideas related to our evolution and in some respects what people "should or shouldn't" be doing in this regard. We have all encountered situations where it might be suggested that what someone is doing is harmful and not helping them, or that someone is missing their calling or that someone could do be or that someone should grow and work on their personal development in some fashion be it their work, personal life or even spiritually. I have spoken about judgments before and that is what these are.
These thoughts come with the notion that there is some "best way" to go about things, that people are causing harm to themselves or others. In the greater scheme of things I view both of these as irrelevant. Why? They are irrelevant because everyone is doing exactly what they need to do at any particular moment in time.