Running out of inches

There is a favorite story that Alan Watts tells about money in times such as the present. He tells of a carpenter who one day went to work, and worked a full day, and came to work the following day to be told that there was no work, because they had run out of inches.

Watts points out that money is a figment of our imagination, a convenience to have taken over the exchange of value from the cumbersome transactions of barter.  We have not actually changed so much in our capability to recognize and to offer significant value to one another since the “recession” of 2008.

Its just that we’ve run short of inches. The top 1/10th of 1% of the populace is hoarding 60% of them in yard sticks. And we’ve mistaken inch-hoards for actual wealth. This is a state of planetary hypnosis. How can we know how we’ve grown without inches? Maybe its by the size of our heart-minds (心)(xīn), which can become immeasurable.

©2011 Anthony S. Wright, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved.

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Essential Vitality

The word “vitality” has been coming up fairly often these days in conversations with friends. I’ve been looking at it in the context of what it is that makes someone feel most alive- in what they’re doing, contemplating, or experiencing. What is that component of one’s experience where this vital joy resides?

I thought about the cable-channel pundits who get seemingly such fierce involvement with negativity of one form or another. And it’s true that negativity and fear will engender a certain kind of limbic fight-or-flight energy. But after a while the adrenals run the body into exhaustion. The cry of wolf goes less and less heeded.

From the positive side, vitality enlivens, and brings energy with it. This is the kindling of the heart-mind flame that I was talking about in the first post. When the joy that one has, has been found, it can then be laterally associated across topics, and generalized into other areas of life that may be other than as lively as one would like. A glowing ember in one area of one’s life is fanned to flame by lovingly attending to it, and it can then ignite and en-flame these other areas.

As we become more expert at finding these sparks within ourselves, we become better at recognizing them in others, and by our very attention and open-hearted interest, also kindling latent sparks in others. A fire needs fuel, air, and spark. What is the fuel; that which you can hardly get enough of? What is the air, where your life breathes?  And the spark: where is your life most vital? And how do you make space for that liveliness to begin to light up your being, more and more often, from inside?

©2011 Anthony S. Wright, Ph.D.c, All Rights Reserved.

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To doubt is to shirk

I’ve been running seemingly endless permutations of a single question for some days now, what does the Cosmos want of me? And the answer isn’t an answer I can be linear with, other than to say that the Cosmos wants me to be myself. How curious it is to have difficulty with being “myself,” knowing full well there isn’t any “me.” There’s also a curiosity about the work of the philosopher. Discovering what that is. I’m feeling that I’m in a sort of “in-between” place. Perhaps this is the feeling one gets when traversing the boundaries of the unknown between one attractor basin and another. Keeping steady in the turbulent boundary regions, preparing as best I can for the unexpected. Which is one of the hazards and invigorating qualities of my having chosen this focus of life.

So we find ourselves in these vast territories without structures, patiently moving ahead, without forcing, sort of between being carried along and forging ahead, to what is unknown. And trusting, always trusting, allowing doubts to balloon and deflate of their own accord, though sometimes participating with them more that we might have consciously chosen to, in resonance with resolutions of childhood terrors.

My charge at present has become to remember that the veils, fogs, and smokes of doubt that come between us and the Cosmos, between us and our “Heaven’s Destiny” (Mandarin: 天命: tiānmìng) are all of our own making. And to attribute an inappropriate validity to the fog of doubt is to err in the placement of energy and awareness; to doubt is to shirk- and in Sufism, to shirk roughly means to imbue divinity in something other than the Divine.

©2011 Anthony S. Wright, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved.

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Welcome to the Attunement Blog!

I welcome you to the Attunement Blog. In this blog I will be exploring various points of view that are reflective of my philosophies, and asking others for comments. My intention is to kindle a vital flame deep in the heart-mind (known in Mandarin as “Xin” (心)pronounced “shing” with a constant [first] tone). With this deep kindling, you will find a different kind of awareness about yourself and the Cosmos gradually beginning to emerge, in it’s own time and in it’s own way.

I’m an explorer of the collective unconscious. One who seeks harmony. This blog is where I’ll come to report back about what I’ve found and meet with others who are explorers in their own right.

©2011 Anthony S. Wright, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved.

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