Sitting And Thinking

sitting and thinking zenExcerpt From The Book Chimera: The dilemma comes when one day you realize you’re an adult. Suddenly you have the realization that all of your childhood illusions should have by now taken place. It now seems that your whole precious experience has been a journey-and now you’re at the destination. Maybe you’re not sure this is where you really want to live.

These are just thoughts of an average man, things that trouble me from time to time and I wonder if the same thoughts nag other people, or if maybe I should just try to ignore my deeper thought and try to preoccupy myself with the mindless activities and social games that seem to prevail over everyone else’s minds.

I wonder if there is actually a just cause or a morality worth upholding and to what end. Who is capable of giving the reward for achieving the highest order?

Everything seems like a game of make believe, I cant really see the usefulness of anything except helping other people. Especially easing their suffering. Self interests seem to be based on the journey and destination road, i.e., you work hard and long (giving you a sense of purpose) then you succeed and feel great satisfaction for a while, but then the process is over and you have nothing to preoccupy your mind from the larger nagging inquiries of your now unfocused consciousness.

The same goes for when your happy. You shirk off deeper thoughts because everything is fine now, and you don’t want to deal with the larger issues. It’s like when your lying in bed and then bam, you realize that someday you will cease to exist, death. It freaks you out to the point of panic because there is nothing you can do about it. So you just try to preoccupy your mind with some other menial thought and hope you fall asleep. Sometimes in a way, life is nothing more than a distraction, an endless game of successive apprenticeships to different loyalties, used to avoid deeper issues.

Much time needs to be spent alone finding out what your own mind says and what your spirit is trying to guide you to do. To this point, sickness can be gift, for the fact that it causes you to stop and reevaluate life, a startling progress check.

Everyone at some point wants answers. The questions vary but all have the same theme. To what end are life’s activities? To be rich? To be held in high esteem? To be happy? To have a family? What is the ultimate goal to strive for? Lastly, whom are we trying to impress?

In the end, is a rich man less dead than a poor man? A wise man than an idiot? A president than peasant? So what does it really matter what you have accomplished in the end? Only that you where happy and helped while you were here.

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6 thoughts on “Sitting And Thinking

  1. Andre

    Ray, when you get these thoughts how do you resolve them?

    What you describe in your first paragraph has happened to me also. After graduating from school, now what? What do I do? Where do I fit in the world? Can’t say I have truly come up with sure answers though.

    I have a somewhat long (30 min. subway ride) commute which gives a lot of time for thought.

    Some thoughts are so crazy, I wish they had never come into my mind (lol). But this discomfort with off-the-wall thoughts is my theory for why people wish to speak about nothing in particular on cellphones or read the paper (which I do).

    Now today’s economic crisis where it seems that no one knows how to deal with the collapse is something really disturbing. Instead of work that actually made something tangible, most people do work that only essentially push paper around. I’m still working on this thought…

  2. Raymond Burton

    I think you can always look at anything in two ways; positive and negative.

    If you lost your job you are either:
    1) desperate, jobless and about to be poor.
    2) Given free time to actually think about how to make your next fortune in a healthy and positive way that you enjoy and will help the most people.

    The other thing is that we don’t have to know the how. We just need to know the what. If you can figure out WHAT you want to do and WHAT makes you happy then the how will be attracted to you.

    In the end we are all going to die. No one has the answers. Make this ride as enjoyable as you can by living to your highest potential.

    How do I deal with negative thoughts? By not having them.

  3. Andre

    This post has a lot of things to think about. I have not thought seriously about many of these themes since college. Many thanks for the forum to work them out.

    Considering the helpfulness aspect of the post–

    I figure that being helpful is good for the soul as well as developing very positive human qualities: compassion, loyalty, faith, love. The reason these qualities are developed is that you have to recognize another person humanity to have a sense of service. Otherwise, why would a person do it?

    I also think that the desire to be helpful is a gift because what is second nature to one person, another person may not have an inkling of what the feeling is. Can a person be coerced to helpfulness? I don’t believe so–helpfulness is a matter of will (one has it or they do not). Can it be developed? Potentially.

    Your thoughts?

    A story–There is a senior citizen that I just lend an ear to. It is amazing to witness some people do not take the time to listen (and possess impatience with the elderly). The man is extremely kind, full of faith, and has an amazingly strong will. I can tell though that the years are slowly starting to take their toll.

    It is interesting to hear the stories of his life, and hard to hear of his concerns and his worries of getting things done before life comes to its end.

    Even though it will hurt when nature takes its course, I have decided to help him in my little way. I can only say that Sirach 3:12-15 is an inspiration.

  4. Raymond Burton

    O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if he is lacking in forbearance, in all your strength, do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten. In the day of your affliction, it will be remembered.

    -Sirach 3:12-15

    You’re a beautiful soul Andre.

  5. Raymond Burton

    I forgot something Andre. Actually I forgot a lot and I think it’s another whole article but here is a bit of what I was thinking after reading what you wrote.

    I’ve always thought how awesome it would be to just be allowed to walk into a seniors place and say “who wants to talk”. Actually, maybe you can. I don’t know. And I want to find out. Just think about what you could learn about life from someone with so much experience. Priceless. And all they want is someone to listen.

    The other…

    I remember about a year ago (as you know I workout 🙂 I was walking out of the drug store and had the opportunity to help and old man into his car. I needed my strength to do it and I don’t know what he would have done if I was not there.

    After I said goodbye, I had a feeling in me that I can’t put into words. It was the most useful I have ever felt in my whole life. I thought if I could wake up and get this feeling every day by helping… it was like “THE” answer is EVERY question. I can’t really explain it.

    I read once “Where you tears fall your treasure lies.” When your soul is moved to tears with the intensity of a moment, you’ve found your calling.

  6. Andre

    Speaking with you about this issue caused me to remember an article I read in the paper one day. I just looked at the headline and passed it on. When I was eating dinner, I happened on the article again. I was glad I did, it was a wonderful article. Our conversation made me think of it again.

    It is about a hospice for homeless people in the city called Joseph’s House. I never knew it existed. The work they do is an example of what we have been conversing about here.

    So I offer the article for the consideration of the readership.

    As for the kind assistance you provided to the person in need, I believe you fulfilled the spirit of the reading in Sirach. I’m happy that you were there to offer assistance.


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