I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Tenets Of Wisdom

Years ago I met a barefoot Buddhist on High Rigg in the Lake District. Then again he may have been a Hindu. Or a Christian. I'm sure he was a religious man - but he was not an evangelical one. We had a conversation. I can't remember exactly what he said. I should have written it down. But these are the main tenets by which he tried to lead his life so far as I can approximately recall them:

1. I have learnt to be content whatever the circumstances. St Paul.

2. Trust God. Trust yourself. Trust the god within yourself.

3. Everything changes, everything is temporary, nothing remains the same. Everything passes - even worries and anxieties, griefs and heartaches.

4. You must first help yourself before you can even contemplate helping others. Learn to respect and value yourself - then you may be of some use to others.

5. The past is dead. Don't regret it. Forget it. The future does not and will never exist. The future is always in the future and will remain there forever. Live in the present moment if you can. For it is all you have. Absorb it. Become it.

6. Do not care about what others may think about you. Do what you have to do and feel is right without caring about how others judge your actions.

7. Try to eradicate negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, pride, greed, hate, offence and so on. They will harry you, wear you down and block your development.

8. You can justifiably view life as often chaotic, senseless, unfair and unpredictable. (Thomas Hobbes called life without a social contract solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.) How to achieve redemption in this chaotic, senseless, unfair and unpredictable world? Through the grace of God.

9. Have empathy with your fellow suffering human beings. They are all suffering like you in one way or another, even if they do not realise it.

10. I have tried to live my life according to these principles, but have generally failed miserably. But, to paraphrase Samuel Beckett, I will try again and fail better.

1 comment:

Dominic Rivron said...

One of my favourites at the moment is: "Life is a celebration. The purpose of life is to make it so for one another." I don't know where it comes from (the "make it so" bit sounds a bit like Jean Luc Pickard!) but I like it.