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Benjamin-Newton Really Mobile: Zen and Major Problems
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When we confront major problems, in society today, we look to one time/action solutions often called "silver bullets". We approach problems, from statistical and intellectual points of view. We ignore things, that cannot be reduced to measurable phenomena and numbers. The key to improving the world starts with improving ourselves. When you deal with deep institutional problems and hedonistic and politically correct attitudes, you need to first understand, that the causes are fundamentally spiritual ones.
These kind of problems are not ones, where you can find a definite solution, so that you can go on, to the next problem. When you are dealing with spiritual and emotional things, you need to accept that there will never be a final resolution. These kinds of problems are dealt with and controlled, rather than fixed. Solving these kind of problems is like going on a journey and the destination is just a stop along the way.
In philosophy we call this "Tao" or "Zen" - the unidentifiable substance that makes things real and brings healing to our emotional self. The focus is on discipline and ethics. Solving our own problems must start with commitment and direction and ends up, with a deeper moral understanding and practice. Just like Zen cannot be pinned down and analyzed, so do many emotional problems - oftentimes you feel a certain way, for no rational reason.
One of the reasons why so many self improvement systems, like diets, fail is because we fail to accept, that the solution is a process, that never ends. When you are hurting, you just want relief and it is hard to accept, that you must continue, to work hard, even when you feel you cannot exert anymore effort. It takes hard work, to heal the heart, and you have got to find someway of pushing yourself, beyond what you think you can do. Although people are not anywhere near, as smart, or talented, than we often think we are, we can endure much more, than we think we can.
Tao means path and that is the way Zen works. Zen also means originality, creativity, and beauty. There is no formula and it is not a tangible or measurable object. Zen is fundamentally a feeling and can be understood, through experience, rather than teaching. Zen comes from practice and the practice itself, when done correctly, is the solution. When you push yourself past what you think you can do, whether in sports, the arts, forgiveness, or fighting addiction, this is Zen.
Most animals understand Zen better than people do. When you see animals angry, at each other and fighting, and then, later that day, you see them curled up together, fully relaxed sleeping soundly, this is Zen. When an animal knows when you are in pain and comes over, to give you company, this is Zen. When you feel you have communicated, with an animal, even though they don't understand our human languages, this is Zen.
Instead of trying to find a secret formula, realize, instead, that major problems are still there, because they are big, otherwise you would have solved them by now. Life's major problems require major effort, over a long period of time, and there are no shortcuts. You will continue, to deal with the same issues, for the rest of your life. Be willing to make mistakes and forgive yourself and you will be well along the way. The missing ingredient is your decision, to do what is necessary.
Zen is more than anything the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit. God will never give up on you, so never give up on yourself. Don't worry about your failure, as everyone has equally failed. Instead of rushing, to the finish, work on small manageable chunks. Just like exercising, a little bit done consistently is better than a lot done rarely. Remember, you cannot ever be be permanently defeated, because God will always send sufficient grace.
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