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Episode · 1 year ago

Lecture 25 THE PUZZLE OF LIFE

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This lecture proceeds to deconstruct the reality of life with the purpose of reconstructing it mindfully and meaningfully.

Meditation, Time, Lecture, twenty five, the puzzle of life. We live in what is typically referred to as the age of information. Regrettably, this age is often appropriated by individuals and groups that are either unprincipled and manipulative or unwise and fanatical, and perverted into a self serving or self indulgent age of fabrications and delusions. What is more, this hodgepodge of sense and nonsense is so miscellaneous and humongous that many of us feel overwhelmed and riffle through it confusingly, just enough to know a smattering of everything, including all manner of falsehoods and half truths. We then lapse into the category of scattered brains that lack focus in depth and whose only merit is to pass for entertaining conversationalists.

Think of the difference between such scattered brains responding with indiscriminate and super vitial curiosity to a variety of stimuli from the outside world, and animals that are hardwired to act instinctively. These animals have a single minded objective to survive and reproduce, to extend their survival beyond the scope of their individual lives. Hence, whatever piques their interest or motivates, their behavior relates essentially to a vital goal from which they never stray. This gives them a grounded quality of sorts that is profoundly lacking in people who have lost their compass in the midst of Agitation, distraction, confusion and often dejection. The critical question is how to develop this grounded quality in a distinctively human way that harnesses are twofold potential of experience...

...and intelligence towards self awareness and self realization. The answer consists in a mindful presence to every aspect of our existence, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. With time, two things become glaringly obvious. One, we are a combination of life, the torso, which contains the vital organs and physical or mental tools, the limbs and the head, whose purpose is to make life possible through appropriate exertions that show a strong will, together with good judgment in the assessment of obstacles and opportunities. These exertions are self promoting inasmuch as they help us thrive, and this self promotion amounts to self love. It is redolent of the nurturing attention that a mother lavishes on her child too. We are embedded in our natural and social environment and...

...form with it an interconnected whole that extends to the entire universe. Of course, on the surface, our self appears to be separate from this environment, but a deeper inquiry provides evidence to the contrary. We are reliant on nature and society, and the multiplicity of interactions between us and them our integral to our reality. In other words, our self is an empty concept if we abstracted from everything thing, either proximat or distant, that is linked to it intimately. It is individual by nature and universal by extension. This logically implies that our self love should be infinitely inclusive and lead to an unrestricted promotion of life within and without, or at least as comprehensive and benevolent as our human constitution and character permit. Bearing in mind these two things, let us picture our time on earth as a jigsaw puzzle that displays an image of individual life...

...and universal love. Also, let us picture all the things we do or say as the pieces of this puzzle that fit together to compose that image and thus represent the diverse manifestations of our general purpose to live and to love. Only when these diverse manifestations are mindfully infused with that purpose can we consider ourselves truly selfaware and self realized, as exemplars of fortitude, liveliness, gratitude, kindness and a host of other qualities that crown the business of living and loving.

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