Friday, August 13, 2010

With It

It's funny. The cliches like "All things must pass", and "When in doubt, do nothing" and "Let go and let God" and "What would Scooby Doo?"... They seem to go in one ear and out the other until one day, they suddenly hit you just right and make sense. And then, you feel like you invented the concept yourself. "This is a totally new, revolutionary thought! I must tell someone!" : )

I started reading a book on Buddhism. Still on the first few pages, but the author gets right into it. He's talking about how a house is not really a house. That if you laid all the materials on the ground, no one would say, "There is a house." He also gives the example of the letter "A". What is the letter "A"? Is it the line leaning right? The line leaning left? The stroke across the middle? And which particular grain of sand is the concrete block? Is there a thing "house" that is laid over these materials like a blanket?

Okay, honestly, I do not get this at all. I can't get my head around it. I can't remember what the realism vs. nominalism debate is about. I can't remember Plato's theories on form vs. ideal. I just know when I read it as a teenager I thought Plato was an idiot. Haha. Ha ha. Ha.

But the thing I did learn, while trying to grasp this is: Thoughts are not things.

Also, "deal with" is not an action verb. Not by itself. Not when used in the sentence "I don't know how I can deal with all this." "Deal with" is meaningful in contexts where it can be replaced by an action verb like "plan" or "pay" or "wash" or "make a phone call".

Thoughts come, thoughts go. I don't have to dwell on them. I have them and acknowledge them and they go away. "Wow, I sure have a lot of work to do today! Yes, you do, let's get started!"; "Yikes, I have bills! Yes you do. Everyone does. That's why you have a job. And I'm lucky, I like it there."; "My Dad is very sick. I know. That's very sad. But he's been a good Dad and you love him. I know. And there's not much I can do about it. Not this minute anyway."; "Fill in the _______. Yes, ________ happens! Okey dokey!"

So thoughts call out for attention, but I don't have to give them center stage or cry or beat myself up or be distracted. I just say yeah or maybe or who knows and they quietly return to their seats. In one lobe and out the other. This is quite a timesaver.

Hakuna Matata! I guess.

5 comments:

Will said...

"So thoughts call out for attention, but I don't have to give them center stage or cry or beat myself up or be distracted. I just say yeah or maybe or who knows and they quietly return to their seats. In one lobe and out the other. This is quite a timesaver. "

Yes.

ChefNick said...

You should try reading metaphysics. When I was 9 I was on a ferry boat from Athens to Hydra by myself (I was dropped off and would be met) and no one spoke English except a kindly professor. He lent me a book on metaphysics to while away the trip.

He should have just loaned me a Greek book. I would have understood it better.

Sue said...

my favorite Buddhist book is "When things fall apart" by Pema Chodron, but I have it on good authority (my Buddhist husband) that anything she writes is good.

ChefNick said...

Funny, I thought that was by Chinua Achebe.

Qaro said...

Hi Will, thanks for following! : )

Hi Nick, I can't imagine trying to read a book on metaphysics as a nine year old, or being on a boat to Hydra for goodness sake! Wow, just wow.

Hi Sue, Thanks for the recommendation. I wrote it down this time for when I go to the library. No more buying books for me, until I have nothing left unread. (Haha!)

I think the Chinua Achebe book looks good too! I'll get them both and confuse the librarian. It'll take more than that. I'll have to get this cd too: http://amzn.to/cxDRhv And this book too: http://amzn.to/cLxBrZ

: )