To witness what is false. 

If I am insecure I will seek to undermine you and myself. I will seek to treat you with disdain and disrespect. I will dishonor myself and the value of the human being. 

But if I listen to the kindness in my heart, and I do not mean the flowery superficial kind. I mean that which surfaces when I will not, I cannot, hurt or defend or attack another, because I will abide that in myself no longer…then I see that a deeper affection arises in man. It is not an illusion. 

Yet it surely comes, like a gentle breeze on a warm day blows away the heat of tired argument, to undo deception, in all its forms, and bring a lasting peace, an unequivocal joy. 

Learning to read. 

My teacher and friend Tara Singh was in my life for about ten years. I lived close to him for one year. He left me many questions burning up in my heart. That is the blessing of such a person. A person without crudeness and free of myopia. He signed his letters: “Affectionately.” There was nothing pretentious or vain about him. 
He didn’t go to school until he was 9 and then only for a couple years. In his early 20s, with a knowledge of the alphabet, there from childhood, he started to read. He read Hafiz and Rumi in Iran and Whitman, Thoreau, Emerson and Lincoln in America. He read very slowly. Not passing over one word until it was deeply understood. 

He helped write the Indian constitution. He corresponded with and met Buckminster Fuller and Pearl Buck, the American Nobel laureate in literature, was his writing teacher in New York for a while. He helped organize a trip to India for the United States First Lady Eleonar Roosevelt. Prime Minister Nehru sent him to Russia and America to learn the impact of industrialization on economies.

 He was as much moved by a giggling child and a weed as he was by his association, in his early years, with Gandhi. Gandhi would not hurt another. 

As a child he was free to spend a lot of time with animals. Not computer games. He developed a great reverence for nature and the beauty of contemplation. It was instilled in him to treasure the dawn, the ocean, the human being.  

Two years ago, in the course of travels, I heard the phrase: “I do not live at the level of the placebo.” For two years, like a detective looking at the nature of sickness and upset, I looked at this word “placebo.”

It takes twenty seconds to find its meaning in a dictionary or an etymological dictionary. It means, etymologically, “I shall please.”

I just looked at that word and nothing else for two years. Life went on. Desires were not ignored and challenge was not risen to. But, in a sense, I couldn’t do anything else. 

And two other things were there: my earlier teacher had asked: 

What did you learn that you did not learn from another? You cannot google who can loan you ten thousand dollars…you cannot understand what trust is, from a definition. And then one day, in a flash, I understood the story of Parzival, the knight. 

Perhaps, very few people might understand this post. Maybe a handful. And yet, its meaning is a gift for all mankind, if we were but to look at insecurity and upset in ourselves. 

Intelligence means “to read between the lines of thought.”

You cannot read, you cannot listen, if you have not prepared the soils of your attention so that the ears to hear may flower.

The Placebo

Seeing through the placebo reintroduces one to oneself and others. It took me a long time to understand what “placebo” meant. My entire life until now. But the abiding presence of a deep peace or the absence of defense and attack, and their army of insecurities, is a sure sign that you are no longer living at its level any more (the placebo’s level).

I wonder where the rubber meets the road.

There is a woman in India who travels the world to hug people. There are rock bands who travel the world to play their music. I get the rock bands. Music is wonderful; to be enjoyed alone and with friends.

We make a spectacle out of our idols. Some idols mirror a deeper poverty. What I find ironic about the hugging lady, is that people would queue to hug her when there are so many people, in our day to day lives, that we don’t value and fully embrace. Maybe we have yet to fully embrace our deeper love of ourselves.

Folk will drive hours and line up in a big hall to hug this woman. That takes effort. An effort is an attempt. And an attempt is an effort to achieve or complete something, typically a difficult task or action. But, will we pause to question our judgments very deeply? Or hug the most difficult people in our lives (without imposing an actual physical hug on them)?

Isn’t that where the rubber meets the road?… where self-loathing peers into the mirror of its own undoing. We peer into the distance too. How distant is that undoing in you?

Root means radical. 

A clever man can make simple things complex. He can try to fix the whole world with the noise of his ideas. A peaceful man sees through to the root of things.

What binds us versus what undermines us. 

Have you made it a rule to live by that you will pull out of any social contracts where you sacrifice your worth, and others worth, for a casual lie another refuses to let go? 

Isn’t that fueling fear and loathing when you don’t do that?

The Ears to Hear. 

If you are very lucky, in life, you will meet certain people, who have a depth to them that will shock you. They won’t settle for your provincial tired lies to yourself. They will see through your ego to something else. But you have to have the ears to hear and the desire to attune yourself to that quality of listening. Or you will walk on by them, like a man who has never really seen a tree.

The most powerful things. 

I could sit down and write the most powerful things that were ever said to me. 

They might be:

“When you meet a fearless person, …”

Beyond the psychopathic interpretation of this, in the deeper sane meaning of the expression, I wanted to know what that meant, not as an idea, but in my own mind, and in how I saw another. 

Then there was someone who said (slowly):

“I am determined to see differently. 

Determination.

Determination. 

Determination. 

Not one of you in this room know the state behind that word.” 

That was an invite to see the pain body and how it created a false umbra of logic out of a shallow falsity. 

And later: 

“Peace is more important than passion.”

That gave me the keys to the doors to the deepest happiness. 

Wholehearted. 

When you clear out everything casual in your story, something deep and beautiful replaces it. It doesn’t take much. Just a dogged persistence not to undermine what is meaningful: you cease to take anything vital for granted. You see the ruse that is too busy to care. And from that quiet, distilled seeing, a flower blooms. 
This photo was a gift from a friend today: