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Life Arts

The Tao of Sanity

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Modern life is fast, hectic, and full. Or at least that is the way it is sold. That word "sell" describes our modern world. We are sold that life is getting more pleasurable, more fun, more exciting, and more of everything. We only need to buy into it, literally and figuratively.

We need to have the money to fully participate as a consumer, and the more money we have the more we can consume. Thus the more we can consume, the greater the value of our life and the greater our value is to others in this modern world. Still just having the money is not enough, we have to buy into the value of the system that sells us the "modern" reality. That is our faith--that the more we do and the more we have, the better we are and the more we will enjoy life.

This modern faith that is nearly fully embraced here in America is a madness. Americans have become exhausted and sickened by the stress, the emptiness, and the pollution that modern life produces. Our modern faith tells us to look past the truth of our present existence and to embrace the thrills and the joy of having it all.

Oh, you say you can't afford to have it all?

Well the gospel of modern life tells us that you could buy it all if you really tried hard enough. Our faith in modernity tells us that those that aren't able to buy fully into the greed of this orgy of consumerism are somehow defective. They are too lazy, too stupid, too negative, too simple, and too uneducated. That is their fault. They are defective and they need to be fixed so that, like all God's chosen people, they can enjoy the American dream.

But as we see with the collapse of our economic system, the American dream has become a nightmare. So it is time to wake up from this scary dream, and for that we need to lose the faith. We need to become aware of what our faith has brought us and then the faith of modern living will fade. It is likely to be a difficult awakening since there is so much of our present power structure that fantastically benefits at the expense of the world's people and resources. The military industrial complex depends on the dream and they will continue to sell us the sports, the pharma dope, the media, the entertainment, the wars, the terror, and the mass propaganda that enslaves us to a greed and fear mentality. All of this is precisely what is needed to feed the faith and build upon the dream of modern existence.


But there is a way to more abundant living and it doesn't demand or command that you purchase anything. This way doesn't promote whiter teeth, a fresher smile, straighter hair, or a new pair of tennis shoes. It is an ancient way shared by nearly every culture and society. It simply requires that you don't do anything.

Yes, that is correct.

You don't need to do anything but be still and take some time in stillness. I know it sounds boring and the mind seeks to fill that emptiness with thoughts of worry or glory. But the clarity of stillness is precisely needed to remedy a sped up world moving on a reckless path to its own destruction. The Quakers, the Society of Friends, have long honored silence in their religious worship and, although small in number, they have been at the forefront of nearly all progressive movements of the last several centuries. The ancient wisdom traditions and eastern understanding have all honored the truth of just "being."

This Tao, or way, of stillness or silencing the mind in the present is not just a way to individual peace and more joyful living. But it is mandatory that more of humanity embrace this quietude of being to restore some sanity to the world. Unless the people of the world are able to become more sane then there is likely an incredibly dark future that awaits us.

 

I work as a school counselor and mental health counselor in Gallup New Mexico.

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this article is, itself, an island of serenity in ... by martinweiss on Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 7:58:18 PM
Thanks for your kind words. I am glad you apprecia... by Grant Lawrence on Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 9:28:31 PM
Well said.  I am so tired of being taught tha... by Dennis Diehl on Monday, Dec 15, 2008 at 12:50:40 PM
YES... by William Whitten on Monday, Dec 15, 2008 at 2:53:57 PM
Suffering is a great teacher and unfortunately we ... by Grant Lawrence on Monday, Dec 15, 2008 at 6:01:41 PM
Book of Revelation talks about the Buyers & Se... by shadow dancer on Tuesday, Dec 16, 2008 at 3:58:36 AM
Thanks, Grant.I spend time hanging out in my yard ... by Jennifer Hathaway on Tuesday, Dec 16, 2008 at 10:03:03 AM
Jennifer,Your Hens and Dogs have more sense than w... by Grant Lawrence on Tuesday, Dec 16, 2008 at 1:05:52 PM
click here... by Hans-Wolfgang on Saturday, Dec 27, 2008 at 3:25:07 PM