Regardless of the fact that all the stories here were made up bullshit, real, innocent people are dying because of them. There are dead people, dead children. No amount of philosophising will change that.
Pick your battles carefully.
Bear in mind that the obvious targets for focusing one's paradigm-shattering efforts on are obvious targets for a reason. This ain't their first rodeo, after all. Or to be more precise, their first bullfight. "We the People" are the angry bull and the "obvious targets" act as the red cape presented to us in order to draw our attention and energy away from the matador who holds it.
This is one reason why reflexive anger is not a good foundation to take action from (chances are we're just charging at the metaphorical cape being dangled in front of us, though every once in a while a lucky bull snags or stomps on a matador and the unnatural order of things is turned upside-down for a couple of minutes, but those are the rare exceptions that prove the rule).
In the context of a fight between two individuals, it can be advantageous (if counter-intuitive) to induce white-hot rage in one's opponent since it tends to induce tunnel-vision, sloppy haste, and bad judgment. That suggests victory is more likely when one maintains a state of steadfast inner calmness when engaging in fights, and by extension conflicts in general.
To do otherwise is to re
-act rather than to act, and if we're reacting to the actions of others we are giving them the authority to dictate our behavior. For example, all you need to do to make most "tough guys" dance for you is say something nasty about their mother (let the bullfight begin!). Governments, or whoever happens to have their hands on society's biggest levers (since the few controlling the many is a function of leverage) play this game, too. Donald Trump is masterful at it, but even he isn't the actual matador holding the cape. Like politicians in general, he's just part of the cape (it might
be interesting to find out who the matador waving him at us is, but probably not).
Some old Wise-Ass once said (emphasis added):Don't burn a blanket because of one flea!
Don't waste a day on trivial irritation,
some gnat's headache.
Take your attention off the forms
and focus on what's inside.
If you're on this way, choose companions
who are also pilgrims. No matter their shape,
color, or national origin, if they are your
people, go with them.
This confused story,
like the doings of lovers, may be told up and
down and sideways, because it's not a story.
It has no beginning or end. It's water.
Each incident-drop is self-contained, and yet
This is just the bare cash of how we are
in this instant, you and I.
A sufi sees that whatever happened in the past
is completely gone. In that last story we told,
we are all now the man with his gift of water,
and the generous caliph, and the jug.
Know this: there's a marriage in each of us.
One partner is reason, universal clarity.
The other is desire and ambition. Those qualities
darken the candles of reason.
How did this come to be? It happens
because the whole has parts, and the parts
are not in relation to the whole as the smell
of the rose remains somehow part of the rose.
And with the rose that I'm talking about,
all the growing things are inside it, just
as the turtledove's coo enters and becomes
But if I go more deeply
into this difficult question, will I be able
to give water to those of you who are thirsty?
If you're in some particular trouble,
a tight spot, be patient. Patience
is the way out of anxiety.
And try to avoid distracting thoughts.
Thoughts are like wild donkeys in the thicket
of human existence. Stay away from the market bazaar of thought-traffic,and find your strength.
Such acts of abstinence are the ultimate medicine.
Let these words enter your open ear,
and they will become a gold earring.
And then you will become a ring around the moon
ascending toward the Pleiades.
Know that created beings are as diverse as Z
and A. From one perspective unified.
From another they seem opposites.
To one being, resurrection is laughter.
To another, its a deadly judging-time,
when all frauds will be exposed.
A thorn loves the fall, because then he knows
that he won't be compared to the rose,
but the gardener knows, and a True Human Being
is always saying, "Look, it's Spring!"
The body is here blooming and shining,
because form must be,
and then be dropped, before the knobs
of spiritual fruit can appear.
Bread must be broken, before it gives us
strength. Clusters of grapes must be crushed
to make wine. Myrobalan
must be pounded into powder,
so it can heal.
Husam! Take out two clean
sheets of paper. Add a description
of the true Sheikh. Your slender body
is so frail, but without the gift of your spirit-sun
we could see nothing. You are the wick,
the end of the thread, the clue we follow.
Write about the guide,
the Summer full-Moon.
Husam is young, but the truth has made him so old
that he has no birthdate. Old wine and old gold
are the most precious. Find such a teacher,
because without one you're in danger.
You need an escort on this mountain road.
If you go alone, you'll get dizzy
with the ghoul-sounds.
Read the Qu'ran where it tells about
these bits of bone and hair
that we find by the roadside.
Keep the reins tight, or your donkey will stray.
And if you do leave the road, go in the opposite
direction from where your donkey wants to go.
That will get you back on the path.
Don't be constant friends
with sexual desire.
Stay with those who have a true guide,
Their company protects.
-- Mathnawi I, 2892-2959
Translation by Coleman Barks
"Feeling the Shoulder of the Lion"
Threshold Books, 1991
While reading the Quran/Koran is optional/unnecessary in this context, that point about "these bits of bone and hair that we find by the roadside" is warning we ignore at our peril. Bullfighting is considered an art form, after all (well, it is by the matadors, at least).
You see, if I am a face that the real observer wears, and I am indignant over what what some other I has done, who is indignant? Is not the art of becoming an ongoing struggle to embrace ever more the good, and erase the evil? To say there is no good or evil, is a cop out. There most certainly is.
I guess the key to the whole dilemma is figuring out who (or what) the hell the "matador" is. I can't really say for sure, but in my calmest, clearest moments I get the distinct impression that he/it is ultimately my own mind, or a construct of same.
And if I can "fix" that, I can save not only the world, but the entire Universe (because that's where it's at). And probably just in time to die, if I'm lucky!
Edited by TVCasualty, 14 September 2015 - 01:43 PM.