We have riots, murders, war and people starve to death. There is real suffering everywhere. Is it okay to have it easy, when people are suffering and dying?
When I was growing up one critical issue was the children in
Africa. Information about their plight was disseminated at mealtime. I didn't know whether the kids were actually starving or if the story was fabricated to force me to eat. Sound familiar?
It took almost thirty years to realize that being a member of the clean plate club was no longer desirable and that my eating habits would in no way affect the amount of food available to African children. I stopped forcing myself to eat everything on my plate, (actually I started taking only amount I wanted to eat) but the guilt of having in a have not world remained. As an EZosophist I question the value of that kind of guilt. Guilt about
Africa or other under advantaged populations qualifies as Ego Driven Suffering (EDS). Concern and compassion are very different than guilt.
Today, I know that children, and their parents, are starving to death, not only inThere is instant impetus via TV, newspaper and radio to trigger guilt and upset. Television allows us to be at the crime scene minutes after a shoot out and turns war into entertainment. Newspapers give the necessary statistics to support lack thoughts and make us believe that the economy is going to fall apart tomorrow. People have the information to make nuclear bombs in their garages.
Africa, but in other places as well. Women are beaten, crowded prisons are commonplace, drugs abound on the streets and teachers live on small salaries.
Is it possible to have an EZosophist outlook when the planet is operating in a state of emergency? Can urgent times be met without urgent attitudes? Can we develop an easy attitude in uneasy times?
Yes, not only is it possible to have an easy attitude, it is desirable. In times when the outer world is changing, the population is exploding and children have taken up arms, it is necessary to cultivate an easy inner environment.
While growing up we made decisions that subconsciously guide our current perception. Many of were taught that life is a hard proposition, work is to be dreaded and taking time off to play requires guilt rather than enjoyment. Everything is serious including getting up in the morning and exercise.
Given the belief that life is hard, we made a decision, now forgotten, that life is hard and that suffering is necessary to be human. This is the birth of Hardaholism.
The Hardaholic Mind (HAM) goes on a mission to prove it's case. The HAM searches for the evidence that life is hard. The mind overlooks all the evidence that supports joy, aliveness and ease. No matter that we don't have to hunt bears and grow our own corn, we have the insufferable task of unloading the dishwasher and taking out the trash.
Not to mention having to answer the phone when a sales person is perched at the end of the line waiting with a pre-approved credit card. What difficult situations!
Our media reports evidence that supports the life is hard and dwindling down to a few endangered resources. The HAM loves the news because it isn't looking for the creativity, compassion, wisdom and power of the people. The HAM stalks poverty, pain and struggle and finds it. "There is pain and suffering. People are starving. How do we handle it? We can't just shut our eyes. We must be informed. “This is the mind trip the ego delivers. “Do not to think of ease - because there is real suffering on the planet.” The mind drones on.
Is there a solution? What can an EZosophist do to be responsible and yet avoid martyr like suffering and useless pain?
Of course, there's an answer. The master told us of an inner-directed state called the peace that passes understanding. EZosophists rest in the inner state of peace while dealing with the outer commotion.
The EZosophist learns to distinguish between genuine suffering and EDS. Suffering is germane to some circumstances, but when suffering occurs as the result of a life script decision, aliveness diminishes
EDS fuels our guilt, makes us feel sorry for ourselves without just cause and allows us to stay powerless, hopeless and helpless. Awareness of self-manufactured suffering is the first step to choosing out of it. Drop it. EDS is an addiction that robs us of the pleasure and ease of life. We must opt out by lifting our thoughts out of the mental gutter.
Often when intense feelings are triggered by the plight of starving children, it points to personal feelings of starving for attention, time off or affection. When we stop projecting our pain onto other s and turn attention to ourselves, we can provide the attention and care we need for ourselves. Thus we empower ourselves with the energy needed to help in external crises.
We are innocent. We don't need to suffer about every little thing. We are privileged people. Becoming underprivileged will not help anyone. One of the best things we can do for those who suffer and have pain, is to appreciate what we have, count our blessings and be thankful rather than being guilty .
The EZosophist feels compassion for those who suffer poverty, pain and physical peril without taking on the pain.
Again, the answer is easy: Identify the EDS; Drop it; Appreciate what you have; be compassionate towards others suffering, but don't take on the burden. Remember, if you take on other’s suffering, then you probably are not dealing with your own. Do your work and you will make life easier. And remember the eight word miracle mantra; everything can be easy or at least easier.
Excerpted from "EZosophy: The Art and Wisdom of Easy or at Least Living."