Monday, November 23, 2015

Pockets of wisdom

I'm always looking for new insights on how to live better. I seek to enrich myself with things like TED Talks, vibrant music, and I seek out progressive people who love creativity.

It pleases me to receive feedback that I've become more openminded than I used to be in the past. To quote a long-time friend, I used to be "the most judgemental person" that she knew. I think things started to work differently in my mind when I was introduced to Buddhist theory. It was all about finding acceptance (of yourself and others) deep within - realising that which was already within you, instead of learning something radically new. I started to genuinely embrace my contradictions and mental differences, and I found that, not only could I function like this, I was functioning on a much more satisfying level. It's hard to explain the specific elements of Buddhist theory, but it had to do with giving up perfectionism, giving up thinking of being 'sharp' as a good thing (I see sharp as a synonym for judgemental here), and moving towards a love of all things and people. I remember reading about how even a knife was alive - the pressed metal was constantly interacting with the outside world, and was always in motion, even when ostensibly still. I also loved to expand my sense of sentient beings to insects and other animals. I avoid stepping on grass now, because I don't want to trample on another living being.

The parts of Buddhism I do have trouble with (and the biggest reason I don't identify as a Buddhist atheist when prompted) are the essentialism. It can be found even in the most basic instructions, such as 'just be'. I can work around it, but my postmodern inclinations prevent me from resonating with notions such as 'oneness' to the extent that it becomes my overriding philosophy. I like to think of myself as an eclectic collector of wisdoms from all over the place.

I can't really claim to be wise, because I engage in many self-destructive habits, but I aspire to fill my world with as many of these wisdoms as possible. A pocket here, a pocket there, and suddenly my garment is swimming with them. I am perfectly imperfect, and I find myself worthy of love. 

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