On Thursday, December 23, 2010, ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> In the final analysis, you are 'right.'  'Liberation' is indeterminate, 
> whether claimed for self or by others.
> Play with anyone and everyone you please, whether liberated or not - provided 
> you are enjoying it - and then 'walk on.'
> --ED

I read this formulation as an attempt to explain the idea that one can
only act rightly by realizing that the moralistic activity of dividing
things into right and wrong is just the minds categorizing activity
and not truth or the source of right action itself; right action
arises in the moment, not out of a dualistic view that splits action
into right and wrong but out of seeing the connectedness of life, and
responding to life at that moment. (and i don't mean "seeing the
connectedness of life" as some mystical phrase, but just noticing the
connections and lack of boundaries right here in reality).

However, I find that the words of the above formulation sound rather
different to my ear.  It reads like some solipsistic, do what your
self desires, don't get too involved in the others, just have fun and
move on.  This seems to be to be a common way that people respond to
the idea that no a prioi formulation of ethics etc. can guarantee you
right action.  People think no rules means just do as you please.  For
me, the moment usually calls for some a bit more connected to the
people i am with than that.  I have tried an attitude of "I am not
enjoying your problem over here, I am going to walk on." many times
but I find this view full of the split of people into me and other.  I
can both stay more balanced and more useful to the person over there
when i just see them, me, and the circumstances, and just respond.
The moment may or not be enjoyed, that isn't the point, at least for
moments that have their ethics debated.

I think it is more helpful to regard right and wrong as like stubbing
your toe.  No one wants to stub their toe.  If they saw the obstacle,
of course they wouldn't have stubbed it.  When I stub my toe, I can
respond to the pain with a deep breath, let the position of the
obstacle enter into my nervous system, and keep going. Or i can flare
up and curse and get mad at the couch and then be irritated at the
next person to speak to me.  When my daughter stubs her toe, I could
say, "oh, why don't you walk with more awareness, you wouldn't stub
your toes so much!". Or I can just say, "ouch!"

So how is this different from when some selfish angry person is
pissing me off?  The angry person stubbed their toe and ten dropped
the hamme they were carrying onto my foot.  Still, the deep breath and
acknowledgement of their emotional state works better than cussing.  I
might still want to keep a few feet away when that person is walking
around couches wih hammers, but I don't think "they out there" are out
to get "me in here.". I stay more balanced and I am more likely to see
their suffering when i haven't let my flash of upset inflame my whole
nervous system.  And then i am more likely to be useful.

Please forgive me, Ed, if I have misinterpreted the gist of your
words, but the idea that right action is this disconnecting do as Ye
will sort of ten minutes of compassion is something that I wrestle
with and often get irritated by.

Merry Christmas!


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