Episode · 1 year ago



This lecture argues that, like a sculptor who carves an undifferentiated block of marble into a particular figure that has artistic value, we cannot achieve a worthwhile and meaningful life, in terms of relationships or occupations, without committing to a small subgroup of people and things that are best suited to our individual nature.

Meditation Time Lecture for Mental Hygiene. Let us begin with courage. It is the backbone of every human deed and for that reason it can be considered a supreme virtue. Now, what is the stuff of courage? Without a doubt, vitality and assurance are integral to it. That is we cannot find the courage to undertake something unless we feel energetic and capable enough to achieve it. But there is more to courage than having faith in our ability to succeed. There must also be the conviction that a certain goal is worth our best efforts to reach it. Without this conviction, our will is faint and it falters, as it lacks the mental leverage to act decisively. Therefore, in order... lead an active and rewarding life, we should nurture these known underpinnings of courage, like the ramified root of a plant, to help it grow and flourish. More precisely, we should abide by a healthy lifestyle and acquire or a visceral knowledge of our natural aptitudes and predilections by testing ourselves constantly and mindfully in all sorts of experiences. This sound and luminous attitude is the wisdom we need to develop a strong and clear sense of purpose that compels us to take effective action. It should be valued and pursued above all else. That said, the more our direction in life is definite and resolute in terms of the principles we adopt in the causes we champion, the more it is exclusive. In the limited framework of time. Every yes is a token of commitment to...

...something whose full expression demands a no as a token of detachment toward everything else. Likewise, we cannot build a home without settling on a preferred combination of location and style that proves both selective and restrictive. Conversely, a vagrant who roams about the world indolently may very well enjoy the utmost freedom, but at the end he has nothing to show for his existence save or rotting corpse. To sum up, the art of living is the art of choosing a way of thinking or acting over other such ways, and the choices we make illustrate our take on the meaning of life. It is always from this individual perspective that we judge people and things and view them favorably or not. Some pass muster and enter the intimate circle of our allegiances and some don't, while others are neither out nor in this circle and remain tolerably on the fringe. Whatever...

...the case, the point of this hierarchy is to establish priorities and devote our time and energy to them. The rest is beyond the scope of our personal engagement. Quite simply, it is none of our business. Still, when we fail to grasp the relative merit of a belief or practice, we should beware of the arrogant tendency to discard it outright as though it were pure garbage. There always exists a particular stance according to which it makes sense or as value. We may not share it with others. Yet, beyond this prerogative, we should frame our disagreement in a courteous debate, as we humbly recognize that the absolute truth alludes everyone, even the wisest among us. We all create our own narrative about the Alpha and Omega of everything, and while we may be knowledgeable to a degree, our partial ignorance is like an open door...

...that allows our fancy to creep into our reason and corrupt it. Perhaps the best approach is for us to meet peaceably at the crossroads of reality and fiction and show tolerance on all matters except the protection of individual freedoms, which applies to everyone and implies mutual respect. This protection must be advocated unequivocally because it correlates with the promotion of social justice or constitutes a necessary bulwork against the regression from the rule of law to the law of the jungle. This moderate liberalness should, moreover, prevent the mental sclerosis that happens with age, when we become complacently ensconced in our high bound ways. We need to keep a nimble mind to cope with the changes, big or small, that befall US intellectably in the course of our existence. In a word, we need to stay...

...adaptable, capable of tapping our wealth of human resources to overcome the illusion of absurdity that may arise in times of adversity. The end of life as we know it is not truly the end of life if we can learn new ways to live meaningfully and joyfully.

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