Category Archives: Harmonious Development

Where is the Love? 

Is this not a predominant question in these times we live in? More and more people in my social network and friends and family are coming round to the inescapable reality that materialism will not end our suffering. 

If it could end our suffering, the acquisition of more and more stuff, then those with the most stuff would be the happiest. But this is not the case. What are we trying to fill by consuming more and more? To what end is this modern consumerism aiming? 

It seems to me that it is a distraction from what is real. And we can ask ourselves here; ‘what is real?’ Is reality a universal perception or only subjective to the one experiencing it? 

This brings me to the title question, Where is the Love? Is there any love in the world? The media would have us believe that there is none. All there is is terror, fear, wealth inequality, governments only interested in their own agendas. But I disagree. We have a choice to unite or to separate, to be exclusive or inclusive. These are choices that we have to make all the time. 

Imagine a pristinely clean, neat and tidy house. I mean really clean, like a show house or a house that someone is trying to sell and has scrubbed up so that it shines. Everything is clean and orderly, except for one corner of one room. In this corner is mess, clutter, dust, grime and all sorts of untidiness. 

Now if we sat in the middle of the room with the messy corner and focussed on this part of the house only, never leaving the room or looking away from the corner we would consider the house a messy one. Alternatively, if the door to this room was closed and you only had access to the rest of the house, the clean and tidy parts, you would take the house to be pristine. This is how I view the world today. 

According to Google there are 7.5 billion people living on the earth. Less than a percent of the world population breed the hate and fear that the media love to focus their attention on. This is similar to the analogy above, that if you focus on the dirty corner you will consider the house to be dirty, whereas in reality it is clean.

In my analogy of the clean house, fear and terror can be seen as the dirt and mess occupying one corner of one room. And love can be seen as cleanliness that abounds in the rest of the house. 

Where do you choose to focus your attention? 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity

An Alternative

Ponder this series of events:

Tomorrow I begin to spread a message hope, of peace, of union and harmony (nothing that has not been said by giants who have walked before us). I continue this by speaking about my message at the local community centre, the church, park, shopping centre or anywhere there might be a group of people to listen. This message will require individuals to assess their current outlook on the world and their life, but nothing to intense, nothing that a slight shift of perspective and some personal observation wont bring. At first people think that I am crazy and dismiss my message, but as time passes I gather a group of followers. The group begins to grow until I have many hundreds of people who would turn up to hear about my message.

People respond to my message out of disillusion at the current state of affairs and how society is structured. They are fed up of what the corporate media feeds them about all and everything, and the propaganda it spouts so as to evoke an emotional response at every possible chance. They want change and my message makes it clear to them that nothing in the external world is required for this shift to occur. This change is an inner one, and one that will increase life for the better.

The above events could be about any number of heroes from times past;

Buddha, Socrates, Plato, Jesus, Ramakrishna, Ghandi, Yogananda, Gurdjieff.

There is no need for me to expound what these great individuals brought in their message and life long mission, there are many books on such things and websites also. My hope in sharing this post is to spark a catalyst in your mind that may make you aware of the position we are in, and the huge possibilities that are available to us.

The ability we have to overcome the common conditions prevalent in the world such as depression, anxiety, lack of energy and vitality, among many other similar psychology issues is contained within us. Getting a prescription from the doctor to medicate these conditions is like trying to save a sinking ship with a plaster, it will not have any effect on the outcome. What is required is a change of perspective, a shift of perception towards a new way of thinking.

If we concentrate only on materiality and its consumption, and place our loci of self in our possessions, things, and technology, there is little hope for lasting happiness through these means. If a new car or television or item of clothing makes us happy, this is fine. But what if your new car gets scratched, or the television breaks, or the item of clothing is torn or has something spilled on it which stains it? Will we be happy for long?

Aristotle speaks about the ultimate purpose of human existence in his epic work ‘The Nichomachean Ethics’. It is clear form the above that material possessions are unable to bring with them any sort of lasting happiness. Even relationships are prone to fluctuate between joy and suffering. All of these things are attempts at obtaining happiness, while true happiness is always an end in itself.

Happiness, peace, satisfaction, contentment can come about only from within, if they are to be of a lasting nature. I share this post only to make you aware that this is what I believe to be the case, and through my experience of ‘messages’ of this nature, can vouch for their validity. Its now over to you.

Do you ascribe to a spiritual path or discipline that has helped you?

Have you had any experiences connected with what I have said above?

Would you like to have lasting peace and happiness regardless of life circumstances you are experiencing?

Do you disagree with the above and feel that this state is impossible?

Please share any thoughts or feelings here in the comment section, and if you enjoyed the article and feel it might benefit another, please share and spread the word.

 

 

 

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I’m Still Here

It’s been several months since my last post! I have been engaged in research and study, and as always; self-betterment. 

Will begin a series of blog posts and would very much like to receive some interaction regarding these, so as to be able to steer the direction future posts will take. You can do this by commenting, sharing blogs you like, or messaging me directly. 

I look forward to engaging with you all.

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Your Inner Statue

“But how are you to see into a virtuous soul and know it’s loveliness?

“Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smoothed there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiselling your statue, until there shall shine out on from it the godlike splendor of virtue, until you shall see perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine.” 

– Plotinus, Enneads, on Beauty. 

One is either happy as they are, or trying to be the best they can be. No-one chooses suffering. Anyone who desires to be the best version of ____________ they can be, will surely be inspired by the above quote. If one strives to; “cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiselling your statue.” Then we will know happiness. 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, philosophy

Life & Mind


The Buddha says;

“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.”

This is the essence of the Buddha Dharma, and the theme of the Dhammapada. If we can gain control of our thinking process, we have the ability to re-shape our whole character and personality. We can re-make ourselves. 

Destructive and negative ways of thinking can be rechanneled, constructive channels can be deepened, all through right effort, introspection and meditation. “As irrigators lead water to their fields, as archers make their arrows straight, as carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their lives.” 

Our personality can be divided into 5 distinct parts or skandhas according to Buddhist philosophy. These parts are; form (rupa), sensation or feeling (vedana), perception (samjna), the forces, habits and impulses of the mind (samskara), and consciousness (vijnana). The Buddha tells us that birth is the coming together of these skandhas, and death is their breaking apart. 

If this idea was better understood, the truth that what we think will shape our reality, our experience of life on the planet would be very different. There is an Indian folk story about two princes, one high-minded and generous, the other very selfish. They were both sent to foreign lands and asked to tell what kind of people they found there. The first reported that he found people basically good at heart, not very different from those at home. The second man felt envious hearing this, for in the place he visited everyone was selfish, scheming and cruel. Both, of course were describing the same land.

This story only goes to prove and strengthen the truth behind the initial quote; “our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.”  To follow on from this it is clear that If we begin to make changes within ourselves, we will by doing so, change the world and how we experience it. 

Little by little we must begin to make changes in our lives. The image we should have is of a bucket filling with water, it does so drop by drop, slowly and consistently until the bucket is full. Many of us want the bucket to fill much quicker than is possible. When the bucket doesn’t fill and we don’t see any changes after a week or two, we give up. If only we could be aware of all of the drops that we have accumulated during those two weeks, would we be so quick to lose hope? 

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Filed under Buddhism, Harmonious Development, The Mind

Random Acts of Kindness


This morning I bumped into a good friend of mine who subscribes and reads my blog regularly. After greeting one another his first question was; ‘have you done a random act of kindness yet today?’ Referring to yesterday’s blog post. I scanned back through my morning and realised that I had yet to perform a random act of kindness. This got us talking about the act itself, the most important thing, for thinking about being kind, and helping/serving/assisting someone is completely different than actually performing a random act of kindness.

He then mentioned an act of kindness towards one of his children over the weekend. This act, although kind and loving, was not random. Our loved ones; children, spouse, siblings, parents are all a part of our life, a part of our world, and by loving and serving these people in our lives, we are, by doing so, enriching our own lives at the same time. We should go out of our way to help and assist our parents, especially if they have difficulty. It is our duty to be kind and loving to those who are kind and love us. 

So, then who can benefit from our random acts of kindness? I would say those who have little karma with ourselves. Strangers. Individuals whom we have never set eyes on before, or people we see occasionally and are familiar enough to nod at, or greet with good morning.

Kindness is being open, open to the needs of others. Meanness, selfishness and cruelty is to forget about others and only think of ourselves. These are the only reasons my friend and I could come up with for not being able to perform an act of kindness when the need presented itself. “I’ve got somewhere to be, no time, I’m sorry”. This could be a reason for not being able to help. The main one though, is the fact that many of us are not actively seeking opportunities to help others. 

Look around. Is there someone to help or assist in your immediate environment? What about the space just outside where you are? Ques of people lining up to get help? Probably not. Most of us want to feel strong and independent, and won’t ask for help when we need it, but will instead struggle on, alone. This is why it helps to remain attentive if you are seeking opportunities to practice a random act of kindness! 

Looking back to the previous post which sparked this thought process and activism we find two quotes, one from the Dalai Lama, and one from Morgan Freeman. 

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” 
How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.

To add an exclamation point to the quotes, I will share one from Mahatma Gandhi; “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If I want to see and experience a more kind, considerate, loving world, then I must become more kind and considerate. Simples. 

My request to you, who have made it this far. Become an activist in random acts of kindness. Leave home in the morning with the goal to randomly help one individual, however small it may seem. See how it makes you feel, how grateful your receiver of kindness is at interacting with a kind friendly face willing to help. Then, if you feel the effort was not too great, try and help one more person. If you continue to feel good and enjoy being of service to other people, why would you stop? 

Looking over my last post on kindness, and the content of this post, makes me feel at times that I am just preaching. Be happy, be positive, be kind! 

Anyone who this post resonates with. If you feel happy and inspired after reading this. Looking forward to tomorrow and another opportunity. An opportunity for a random act of kindness, or two, or three…….. And better still, if you see someone who needs help, who needs assistance, who needs kindness, and you act on it, please share it somehow. Either here on WordPress, or if you come across the link on Twitter or Facebook. And after you have shared the link, share a recent random act of kindness. 

I will begin. Today, two people asked me for directions, and I helped them to find the right direction. I had a nice positive chat with my friend, the one mentioned above, which inspired me to write this post and think about being more kind throughout the day. This in turn intensified and caused me to text my dad a reconciling text message. 

The night is young. There are many more people to help! 😀 be an activist. Let me know. 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity

Be the Change

Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

This is a wonderful maxim to keep in mind and one that I have, over time, tried to incorporate into my everyday life. For example; I try to be positive and spread that positivity to others as best I can. This means that if life is particularly trying one day, or if stresses are becoming more pronounced, I actively need to summon this positivity rather than it being a natural occurrence. 

Now is this invoked positivity any different than it being natural? I think not! Positivity is positivity, negativity is negativity. So if I was having a hard day, and being positive is not coming naturally, I would think about everything I have to be grateful for: my family, my health, my home… This process can go on indefinitely, or until one is feeling more positive than they were. And I would find (and you will to, if you tried this process of gratitude) that my outlook has become far more optimistic, which was what I wanted to achieve by thinking about everything I have to be grateful for. 

We have an innate choice that we can make each moment. Positive or negative. Optimistic or pessimistic. Heaven, or Hell. Up, down, left, right, happy, sad, black or white. Etc. Etc. Through free will, we can and must choose how we will react to external influences, and conduct ourselves. 

Again, I could say that trying to be the change I wish to see in the world is one of my reasons for sharing this blog. The sharing of beneficial information that I feel would enrich the life of the reader, especially if they made the effort to research the idea. Simple, short pieces about things which are of interest to me, and anything I think would be of interest and inspiration to others. Fragments of information, of ideas, of concepts. This would be a form of activism in regards spreading and living my change. 

For if I were not sharing, where would we hope to find information of this nature? The mainstream media? I’m not so sure. 6 corporations own 90% of all media in the US, and I am quite sure it is a similar statistic regarding the UK’s media network. The people that own the means for conveying information have an agenda which is not in conformity to the enlightenment movement.

I am not saying that all this is easy. It is much easier to sit around talking about how and why you would change things, than it is to become active and start living the change, without saying a word! We must start making decisions that will have a positive influence on our lives. We have that power, and we must use it. 

Maybe your change wouldn’t be positivity or sharing information. It might be fairness, or equality, or a particular movement that you feel strongly about. Whatever it is, if you feel passionate about it and this post only helps to stoke your fire, get active and become the change you wish to see in the world. 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity