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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » You and I are in the present moment. Here. Now. Listening, watching, sensing. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: You and I are in the present moment. Here. Now. Listening, watching, sensing.
munga
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yes, that was very interesting RL. I'm going to use that line, someday.

food for thought. *burp*

[ January 31, 2009, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"One of the arguments she makes is that the westernising of Zen teachings of being present have resulted in a society stuck in the present."

Sounds like a sophomoric conceit expanded to fill pages in a book. I suppose/hope she spends far more pages describing how electronic media hypnotized people in place for hours in a realm that exists outside of vital reality.

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cperry
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Yeah, we be are stuck in the present. Western society does little to show that it thinks of the future at all. Don'tcha think?
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TomDavidson
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I think Western society does a truly astounding amount of thinking about the future -- and the past, for that matter. We're one of the most thoughtful societies that has ever existed.
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munga
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We use one to project the other, our ideas on the future are vast because our methods of analysis of the past have been expanded by access to the historic materials.

We google EVERYTHING. And lo, it is there.

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cperry
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I think Western society does a truly astounding amount of thinking about the future -- and the past, for that matter. We're one of the most thoughtful societies that has ever existed.

really? Maybe I phrased it poorly. I always found Eastern society to be better at planning for the future -- understanding that some goals may take millenia to achieve. Whereas Western society seems to often say, "Screw our grandkids. We want things good for us right now." You know, trillion $ debts and all that.

(I recognize that Eastern planning may not be ACTUALLY good for future generations; just that they seem to act on "the concept seems good NOW and therefore should be started on, even if the end won't be reached for years and years and years....")

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TomDavidson
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quote:
always found Eastern society to be better at planning for the future -- understanding that some goals may take millenia to achieve.
Eastern society talks about it a lot more, but I don't see any evidence that they're actually any better at it.
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Viking_Longship
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Considering the fact that China is putting out a huge and growing enviromental footprint and the Japanese continue to illegally hunt the few remaining whales I am not sure they're such great long term thinkers.
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rightleft22
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"I suppose/hope she spends far more pages describing how electronic media hypnotized people in place for hours in a realm that exists outside of vital reality."

She does.

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rightleft22
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I’m only half way through the book and so far I’ve found it quite relatable. Anneli Rufus chapter on being stuck in the past particularly hit home.

quote:
What hurts worse then wanting a do-over when you know you can’t have one?

Both the good thing about history and the bad thing about history is that you know it went.
Knowing that it’s over, we must live with the fact that just the tiniest thing done differently some where back there would have changed the present entirely. One yes instead of no. One “wait” instead of “go”. One push of a button, one phone call, one step. In retrospect, it seems so random and we want to fix it, smooth it, rearrange its parts as we might move dolls in a dollhouse. Because one word, one call, one step seem so slight, we tell ourselves that this fix that would make us feel all better should take… just… one … tweak!

But it does not. So we stay and stay, jousting with ghosts.

The trouble with being stuck in retrospect is that it cannot be done without pretty much abandoning the present and future. And when we muck around back there and refuse to let anything end, even though we know in our heart of hears that it ended and how – sometimes we even have pictures to prove it – we’re cheating. We are playing God, if we believe in Him: unraveling the tapestry he wove. Or we are playing Cronos. Severing the moving Finger. Disclaiming physics.

Can a person be “present” to the past, to the now, to the future or must we get lost in one or the other?
I don’t seem to be able to do it, at least not with any kind of consistency. Always dreaming of the do over, if only.

[ February 02, 2009, 09:32 AM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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munga
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I think God has such a device.
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rightleft22
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A device for a do over?
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munga
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He must. Otherwise, He would be guessing. It has a re-set button.
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cperry
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Considering the fact that China is putting out a huge and growing enviromental footprint and the Japanese continue to illegally hunt the few remaining whales I am not sure they're such great long term thinkers.

Yes, I think you're right; that is less future-oriented than some other projects (Great Wall comes to mind).
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kenmeer livermaile
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"I think Western society does a truly astounding amount of thinking about the future -- and the past, for that matter. We're one of the most thoughtful societies that has ever existed. "

Agreed. But that thoughtfulness has created technological prowess that consumes the future faster than we can contemplate it.

And it was Paul Valery, not Yogi Berra, who first said that the future is not what it used to be.

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canadian
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I was going to let this thread die in it's natural course, but I feel compelled to write something about this book of Tolle's.

It changed my life. The concepts are nothing new and you could make the argument that it's all just post packaged Christianity, Buddhism, Zen thought etc...and you'd be right.

The thing of it is, I've felt and recognized the truth of the message in pretty much every thought Tolle has referenced and riffed on, so no wonder that I can feel it in his words.

Sure if you're trundling along life's highways at a good clip the writing can be laborious and over the top, or underwhelming as the case may be, but if you are in a place of silence then the truth unfolds like a flower.

Maybe I'm less fun than I used to be...in fact that's a given. But by recognizing what happens when I get angry or offended or scared, I've slowly been overcoming these things and putting them in the proper persective.

The things of this world are losing their meaning and the experience of this world is growing stronger and more beautiful on a continual basis.

I'm still me, but I'm a me who's finding a certain level of peace and tranquility I've never had before and all I've really had to do to achieve it was recognize whenever I was being the person I don't want to be: when I was argumentative to the point of anger or frustration, when I felt my ego bruised and my apeman act wanted to get the show on the road, when I got depressed or panicked at the possibilities and challenges of life - I only had to recognize and acknowledge my feelings and by doing so I was able to transcend them.

Another side effect is that my relationships are richer and deeper. I've lost some of my famous bite and been humble enough to allow my armor to come down and be open to people where before I couldn't do it. Too scared.

I've also grown far more forgiving and understanding of others' foibles, probably because I acknowledge my own without judging myself as good or bad, just allowing love to flow as much as I'm able.

Sound boring? It likely is if you're addicted to yourself, as I was and to be honest, mostly still am. But the trade-off: beauty and deep happiness and peace that leads to good action vs. drama that leads to more egocentric thinking and behaviour.

Believe as you will. In fact that's basically the message of the book. Just try to be honest about it.

The more you can do that, the better you'll be for this world. My family has never been closer or more happy to BE a family.

Just my two cents. I felt it would have been a disservice to let it go by without an alternate point of view to consider.

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KnightEnder
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Wow. If it had that affect on Canadian I have to read it. Thanks for sharing.

KE

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Psudo
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I have no useful comments, but I have a useless one: that guy looks exactly like what I'd think gnomes would look like.

That shallow analysis probably means I'm an example of the "addicted to yourself" group Canadian mentions.

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Pete at Home
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Don't surrender to gnomophobia, psudo [Razz]

but seriously, Canadian has got my interest as well.

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kenmeer livermaile
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One minute we're renouncing the self, the next we're embracing it. Classic addiction. Me, I can't live without myself. Unthinkable. I'd keel right over.
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munga
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canadian-

Hm. But I got a similar buzz from "Who took my cheese?" which cost a lot less and was done in 30 minutes.

And the author is less creepy.

KL-

I like "autoaddiction"

[ February 26, 2009, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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Psudo
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I'm not afraid of the gnomes. I just don't worship the same gods.
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