Rumi’s way of the heart

In these frightening and changing times I was called to the words of the 13C poet/scholar/mystic Rumi. Wisdom is not a prerogative of our times; indeed we are much in need of it.

Love

“Love is the bridge between you and everything.”

“Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.”

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

Soul

“What you seek is seeking you.”

“When you do things from the soul,
you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

Self

“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”

“It’s your road, and yours alone,
others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you.”

Gratitude

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.”

Fear

“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad.”

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.”

Letting go

“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.”

“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.”

“When you let go of who you are,
you become who you might be.”

Tagore Grove

Where The Mind Is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore

tagore ray millerRay Miller Park is a smallish urban park just by the busy Eldridge Parkway in Houston. In a quiet corner of the park it is a delight to come across Tagore Grove, established in memory of the Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). A calming space on the midst of all that busyness.

The featured image shows a panel containing the words of Tagore’s poem, shown in full above – a call across the ages, so relevant to these times.

The coronavirus outbreak – the economic impact

This fascinating post by Matthew Wright explains why the world financial system is so vulnerable to shocks to the system like COVID-19. The world economy is indeed a reflection of the collective psyche. Collective confidence and fear play very real roles in the direction of the economy. And this is without further considering the increasing effects of climate breakdown.

Matthew Wright

What worries me about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak isn’t so much the virus itself. It’s the economic effects of the way people – and societies – have been reacting to it since the outbreak began. Because of the way western economics has gone in the past forty-odd years, what economists call a ‘shock’ can have real-world effects that run far beyond the scale and nature of whatever that ‘shock’ might be.

In economic terms, a ‘shock’ refers to an unexpected shift, usually to do with pricing associated with a commodity. The classic western example is the 1973 oil shock, which sent oil availability plummeting and prices skyrocketing. The resulting economic impact was significantly greater than the scale of the oil embargo that provoked it.

These days, world economies are far more fragile. It’s not just the fact that the ‘General Financial Crisis’ of 2008-10 wasn’t actually resolved. It’s the fact…

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Hope and Fear

The posts on Aperture of Brahma are simple yet challenging. Consider the latest one here. I will quote and comment on some of the points made.

By holding a mental picture in mind, we gradually but surely draw the thing nearer to us.

So if we focus on fear, rather than a positive vision, this draws the things we fear nearer.

Difficulty and obstacle are necessary for wisdom and spiritual growth.

As a society we are presented with great difficulties in these times. These challenges are encouraging us, individually and collectively, towards wisdom and growth.

We may be of the most service by keeping an open mind. Be interested in the race not the goal; the pursuit not the possession.

Visualization facilitates feeling. Even during difficulty and obstacle, we can maintain a positive mental state by feeling positive. An open mind is a mind without judgement or assumptions.

It is the process of engaging positively with the challenges we face it is important that we do not to rush to judgement or stick to preconceived notions. For example, we should seek to ensure a positive outcome to the ongoing Brexit process – perhaps visualising what would satisfy most people, rather than just sticking to our preconceived notions of the ‘right’ outcome and fears of the ‘wrong’ one (oh dear, this is not easy!).

We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out. All that is required is to turn the light on… by adjusting our thoughts/directing our attention to an ideal state. By allowing our thoughts to focus on loss, disease, and disaster, we facilitate the maintenance of self destruction.

Focusing on a positive vision, linked to the good, the beautiful, the true, doing what we can, where we are now. This is the way of hope, as opposed to the self-defeating path of fear.

We can see wisdom in many places. Thank you, Aperture of Brahma.

Picture of light on Grand Canyon from Hopi Point by Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Fearful times

We have nothing to fear but fear itself

FDR expressed it well.

Fear is of the ego and is concerned with separation from the other. 

Love is of the soul or higher self and is concerned with coming together. 

In the process of growth we grow from fear to love, from ego to soul, from competition to cooperation. 

The Brexit and Trump phenomena are both based on fear, separation, ego. This is the problem of current times – a resurgence of fear based politics. 

Only through love and raising our level of being can this be transcended. 

Thanks for the inspiration from Richard Barrett’s recent article in SciMed Network Review. 

Rude and crude

I was taught that being rude is bad mannered and being crude is just not on.

It is rather disheartening to see the appalling standards of much public interaction, to some degree in the UK, moreso in the US, and also on the internet. Yes, Twitter, Facebook and the rest are public spaces.

Unfortunately, it appears that in the political arena, being rude and crude can be a very successful strategy for getting elected. Bring your talk down to the lowest common denominator and a lot of people will vote for you –  a lot won’t, but you only need enough.

Also in the media, being rude and crude can be a successful strategy for selling ‘news’papers.

This is the way to coarsen our societies. The fish rots from the head, the opinion leaders.

True leaders offer hope and vision, point to higher values, rather than trading on invented fears. They listen to alternative viewpoints and respect opponents, rather than attack and insult them.

I’ve been lucky enough to live over 70 years in a civilised UK and Western world. Its very foundation of baseline civility seems under threat.

Ten on Fear

Fear is useful to us, alerting us of danger. If you come across a tiger in a forest a dose of fear might be helpful in triggering evasive action.

The problem with fear is that the imaginative human mind easily creates fears and then dwells on them, particularly fear of the unknown, what might happen next.

So many authors have addressed this subject in various ways. I thought it might be useful here to list ten of my own favourite quotes, culled from the internet.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike.

Arthur Ashe

You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.

Dale Carnegie

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Frank Herbert

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.

Brendan Francis

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.

Marilyn Ferguson

If you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, your life will be safe, expedient and thin.

Katharine Butler Hathaway

Do what you fear and fear disappears.

David Joseph Schwartz

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Susan Jeffers (book title)