The Most Difficult Lesson
edited: Thursday, September 03, 2009
By Regis Auffray
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, September 03, 2009
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An article by Sha'Tara - local writer and friend
The Most Difficult Lesson
[thoughts from ~a burning woman~ by Sha'Tara]
I have been told that life is all about learning lessons. I would say, it's all about learning lessons for those who want to, and it's just 'laissez faire' and damn the torpedoes, or consequences, for the rest. No lesson is ever learned unless the desire to learn precedes the lesson. Life isn't at all like universal education: you have the choice to attend, and learn or repeat your mistakes forever.
This is my argument: If life was truly about learning lessons, i.e., if there were no choice but to learn lessons, then it stands to reason and common sense that 'lessons' would indeed be learned and people would not continue to repeat the same stupid mistakes, year after year (or life after life for those who suspect continuity of individual awareness and inevitable return to the wheel of time). Lessons 'learned' would enter into the race's programming and succeeding generations would blithely move on without having to repeat their forebears' idiocy. Obviously that is not the case. So that whole idea called 'the hundredth monkey' is bogus, at least as it would apply to Earthians: they are immune to progressive learning and almost completely lacking in common sense. When they move 'forward' in one area, say, philosophy, art, science or technology, it is to subsequently plunge deeper and more viciously into progressive violence and war, war that is always fought for 'space' be it in land or ideology, or to indulge itself in self-pleasing. Interesting that we see no evidence of a steady and constant rise to higher understanding of life's purpose. History shows one pattern: a sudden rise of some civilization to be followed inevitably by its downfall into the dust. I think we are seeing the sunset of our own sudden and inexplicable rise (if high technological achievements that burned and poisoned a world almost to extinction in a hundred years can be called a 'rise').
Of course, anyone who has applied himself to the idea would know that 'learning lessons' is never easy. While the noisy and nasty, the cheap and easy, the slovenly and violent, the lascivious and ignorant, come easy, are easily expressed and performed (as easily as those involved are exploited), not so with personality uplifting lessons. Even the so-called education system has finally concluded that lessons are best left to kindergarten and perhaps the first two or three grades. After that, it's just jamming brains full of unconnected, basically useless data, most of which wicks out as fast as it can be entered. The effects of "higher" education in the richest countries of the world can easily be observed. I rest my case.
I suppose that parents and educators, not to mention the plethora of useless bureaucratic 'services' accessorizing the education process figure that 'lessons' will be taught by life's experiences. As they are, of course, to the great detriment and rapid disintegration of ethics and moral values once considered the necessary underpinning of any upwardly striving civilized society. Fifty years of observation tell me that whereas this is indeed a highly developed technological society, it is certainly not civilized, not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the more technology it has developed, the more brutal and senseless, the less sensitive to 'others' it has grown. Political correctness, as one 'civilizing' aspect of this society for example, is a veneer so thin it is transparent, ready to splinter, leaving nothing to show it was ever enacted. Every social evil which political correctness presumably sought to correct remains as vital as ever, if perhaps hungrier for having been temporarily denied its periodic outbreaks of racial and gender violence. No lessons learned there either, but a whole new bunch of bureaucrats, or 'thought police' associated with this process, like termites, have burrowed in, and established themselves at every echelon of government and corporate institutions.
For every step forward Earthian society takes, it is guaranteed to take a definitive step or two backward.
That's all well and good. And all pretty negative. I'm certain that even on this small list there are some who would add to my 'complaints' but is there some way out of the nightmare? I believe there is or I wouldn't be wasting time writing this. I don't get paid for this!
What can we do? That's easy: nothing. And someone would say, 'What? What do you mean, nothing we can do?' And I'd repeat it emphatically: Nothing at all we can do.
Oh, it's not that we don't have ready made and amazingly effective solutions to apply quite successfully to every single one of our social problems, we do. The problem as I see it now, being old and wise—Ok, wiser at least—is the pronoun 'we'. We can't do anything about any of our problems because "we" collectively are the cause of all the problems. We are the source of the problem, and every time we turn around in attempts to apply our collectively spawned solutions to glaring social problems we splatter the problem all over the place, making things worse. That's why 'democracy' doesn't work, never will. It's just another form of totalitarianism, of course. No different than the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' as advocated by the Soviet Union—and what a shining example of a workers' paradise that turned out to be.
It's not we who will change the face of Earth. It's "I". I stands for Individual. I choose to become a better person. I dissociate myself from the collective 'we' and choose a different way of looking at 'you'. A way that guarantees you never have to look over your shoulder if I am the one behind you. I choose not to indulge my whims, my urges, my desires, at your expense, at anyone's expense. I choose to look at this world and all that resides therein, not as something to exploit, or to curse and condemn, but as something to care about, something precious, something important to the greater life flow.
Looks easy enough in words. But words mean nothing. I have to be willing to do this, all the time. Every thought, every word spoken, every act, must dovetail perfectly with my goal. That calls for wisdom, and self-empowerment. Enough empowerment that I can brutally judge myself without becoming perverse about it; without the self-condemnation, despair or guilt that has accompanied, and accompanies, so many. I know this: I am not a good person, but I can be. I will fail, but I don't have to keep failing. I mean, it's not rocket science: the road to 'perfection' is infinitely long! But if I think small, I will speak small and act small. I will feel powerless and will be tempted, once more, to go the route of the collective to give myself an appearance of having some kind of power, some kind of control. I will vote. I will join various organizations that seem to offer me the power I can't seem to gain or manage on my own. And I will conveniently forget the first lesson: that no collective has ever been any better than any other. Give any collective enough time and power and it will corrupt itself and all those within until it destroys itself. That's a given.
So I think maybe I change by simply caring more about others than myself and reflecting my feelings about this interaction back onto myself. Thus I can see myself as I truly am, because I become what others think of me, what they see of me. Instead of thinking I am this or that, I'll accept your verdict of who I am. What the world I interact with personally sees me as, that is what I am. I won't argue.
That's the meaning of servanthood properly understood: a pretty high calling that is usually rejected because it is basically an unknown virtue; its effectiveness carefully filtered and erased by the Matrix. Not that people don't serve, but they seldom do it in detachment. The normal life of service is rife with expectations. Service to God, to country, to family, to profession, to reputation, to power, to adulation, to success, to money (even if only for the minimum wage paycheck) and all that is pure selfishness, however it is lived. There is a type of service that surpasses all of that; ignores all of that. It's the one that "I" as an individual choose to enter into, the 'contract' being with myself alone.
At this point in my understanding of what it means to be 'alive' as an ISSA being, that is the most difficult lesson.
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|Reviewed by Pierre Ortega
|Too many of us are into learning just what will better ourselves and that is not necessarily what will benefit mankind as a whole. We must seek to understand how to strive for both if we want to survive.
Great write, Take Care
|Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson
|I don't like to think of the word "failure". I believe if one really tries hard , they can succeed at something worth while in life. I think we get out of it what we put into it. Some of the life alterating decisions made by the higher ups are basically out of our hands, but we can stll let our voices be heard if we choose to do so. It doesn't always help , but at least we've made the effort and perhaps that in it self will prod some one else to try also . On and on it goes. Sadly we are not moving in a positive direction in many areas of life and I fear what the future will bring for the masses of earth! A good thinking write!.....M|
|Reviewed by Jon Willey
|Regis, I believe that Joe South has come the closest to explaining my emotions and analysis on this matter -- I believe that Homosapiens are genetically predisposed to lusting for power and absolute control -- from Joe South's, "The Games People Play" -- "oh the games people play now, every night and every day now, never meaning what they say now, never saying what they mean,--and they wile away the hours, in their ivory towers," 'til they're covered up with flowers, in the back of a black limousine -- chorus - la-da da da da da da da, la-da da da da da de, talking 'bout you and me, and the games peoples play --oh we make one another cry, break a heart then we say goodbye, cross our hearts and we hope to die, that the other was to blame - chorus - neither one will give in, so we gaze at our eight by ten, thinkin 'bout the things that might have been, it's a dirty rotten shame - chorus - people walking up to you, singing glory halleluliah, and they're trying to sock it to you, in the name of the Lord, they're gonna teach you how to meditate, read your horoscope,cheat your faith, and further more to hell with fate, come on and get on board - chorus - look around tell me what you see, what's happening to you and me, God grant me the serenity, to remember who I am, cause you've given up your sanity, for your pride and your vanity, turns you sad on humanity, and you don't give a la de da da da da" -- peace and love my friend -- Jon Michael|
|Reviewed by Debra Conklin
|Let's boil it down to something simplistic...Wall-E, yes the kid's movie. If you haven't seen this movie, you might want to. On the surface it has all the trappings of a child's fun movie...but read the message of the movie. We are our own destruction. We create our problems and leave them for someone else to fix. It's disheartening to know that things have progressed past the point of making everything all right.|
|Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks
|thank goodness for Sha'Tara and you, Reg! Many *very* thoughtful statements in your article.
And I can't agree with Jerry's last paragraph: "...longer...higher birthrate...healthier..."
What about all the deaths from wars? Young men/women and babies NOT living longer...or healthier.
What about all the starving in the world? Healthier...living longer?
What about the used tech-toys sent to China for dismantling by the poor? Are they healthy and living longer?
What about all the displaced and homeless? Are they healthier and living longer?
We best take a longer, deeper, and honest look at who we are...really!
Blessings and Love - Micke
|Reviewed by Rozzy Diouf
|So true! such words of wisdom. Amazing how with the advance of technology the human race becomes more selfish and feels more comfortable using "we" as opposed to "I" Thanks for sharing! God bless|
|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|Sha'Tara is very wise. I feel the same way. We are programmed to fail and won't realize it until we do.
|Reviewed by Julianza (Julie) Shavin
|Regis: This is Sha'tara?|
|Reviewed by J'nia Fowler
|Hmmm. I could say so much here. Interesting perspective. I suppose my summary is this. Everything old is new again. Even stupid. Hugs, J'nia|
|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|Loquacity is the politicians cancer and they don't die of it, that's a lesson we will never learn.
And the one about life.
Life a teacher? For most, life is a sadistically invention of a pervert mighty something with too much time on his/hers hands.
Very few learn from life to be a Midas, less of becoming a Socrates.
An following that long road to Perfection can take us to Perdition as well.
Now Regis, this one flew all the way out of the park. A home run!
|Reviewed by Patrick Granfors
|Here it used to be called simple manners. OK that's oversimplified, but not by much. One problem is most culture's manners don't necessarily align with another's. All cultures have failings. All cultures exploit each other's failings. The more powerful crush the opposition but rarely eliminates it. Apply the state sanctioned and corporate multipliers and the quagmire ferments. Makes quite a case for living alone in the wilderness. Patrick|
|Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK
|Amazing Reviews Regis...
|Reviewed by Nicole Weaver
|I choose not to indulge my whims, my urges, my desires, at your expense, at anyone's expense. I choose to look at this world and all that resides therein, not as something to exploit, or to curse and condemn, but as something to care about, something precious, something important to the greater life flow.
I so agree with the above passage. If all of us took the time to do that the world would be so much better. Why do we have wars?, Why do we have to kill? Why can't we all get along for the better good of mankind? This article gave me a lot to think about. Thank you Regis for posting it. I love thought provoking articles.
|Reviewed by LadyJtalks LadyJzTalkZone (Reader)
|Life is easier to understand when we make it simple. As always these articles are thought provoking. Thank you for sharing them with us. We have made many advancements in the world and some do wonder if going back to native days would be better, yet unless the whole world stood still at that point it would have the same results just different leaders I think. Lady J|
|Reviewed by Dallas D'Angelo-Gary
|I'm with you, Regis ... separately, of course. ;-)|
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
|I have often wondered about the world and its constant strife and disorder. I have asked many times, in many different ways the question, "What good is history if not to learn from it to not repeat stupid mistakes?" I have no answer to that question, except maybe this: As you brought out in the "I" example above, humans are first and foremost "individuals," and being individuals we tend to believe we are infallible and nothing bad can, or should, ever happen to us. Most, if not all, animals retain the learning process much better than humans. We might read about what happened, but are doomed to make the same mistake again because we have the mentality that we are supermen/women. An animal learns which roots and mushrooms, etc., to eat, which are poison and which are not and they pass that knowledge on to the next generation. Not so humans. It's the "I" factor coming into play. Humans are a superior people for the most part, but our intellect is no match for the superman ID we posses. By now we should have learned how to not go to war, but we haven't. We should have learned how not to subjugate our people, but we haven't. Two married people can't get along without filing for divorce we are so "into" our own desires, so it seems perfectly natural that nations would have trouble with other nations usually about the same things.
One thing I take issue with is this statement: "(if high technological achievements that burned and poisoned a world almost to extinction in a hundred years can be called a 'rise')."
We are living longer, have a much higher birthrate and are healthier than at any time in the worldly history.