Monday, January 30, 2012

Good question on complaining.

Kate: How is ‘choosing not to complain’ different from ‘apathy’ and/or ‘complacency’?
When two things, like pacifism and complacency, look so much alike, how do you know what you are doing? It is clear, in situations like Occupy Wall Street (in its best light) and the revolt that Gandhi led, that we did not see complacency. But how about the monk who faces the wall of a cave for ten years. Is he accomplishing anything, or is he just avoiding the world's ills?

One could say that if you aren't adding wood to the fire, you are assisting in putting the fire out. My walking neighbor won't talk about the Republican nominations because we are so far from the election. Is he being complacent? Today he said that he didn't like the emotions behind politics. Who does?

Part of not being complacent is being right, being on a side. Another way of approaching "life" is simply to look at both sides and see that each has its costs and benefits. The "pipeline" being proposed from Canada to Houston will do good things A, B, and C and will harm D, E, F. Is this an equanimous approach? Not quite (though I am just a beginner at all this). I found this on the web: "But the kind of equanimity required has to be based on vigilant presence of mind, not on indifferent dullness." Equanimity isn't the result of analysis, but of being "in the moment." It is not stepping backward and thinking, but rather stepping inward and opening one's heart.

Some feel that the world will not be habitable for long if we build the pipeline. Can they do anything but covert action ("as a mother risks her life to save her only child")? Is equanimity an appropriate response when a child (or the Earth) is threatened?

Have I given more questions than answers? Hope so!

2 comments:

Kate Freeman said...

One could say that if you aren't adding wood to the fire, you are assisting in putting the fire out. --- Mr. Kim

You think you weren’t adding fuel to the fire when you wrote a blog about how S. needs to ‘not demonize’ a republican candidate? Do you think that you are not adding fuel to the fire when you use my posts to show the importance of not having anger?

Part of not being complacent is being right, being on a side. --- Mr. Kim

Communism.

Robin Hood.

Stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

Forcing people to be more charitable.

It is not stepping backward and thinking, but rather stepping inward and opening one's heart. --- Mr. Kim

I think the second you made an example of S. for calling a republican an asshole, you were not ‘opening your heart’ to her feelings. You were calling S. on the sin of ‘demonizing’. . . publically no less.

Then when you used my post (which to me was a joke that had little to do with some republican and had much more to do with your actions) as an example of why anger is so bad, you were not ‘opening your heart’ to my feelings. You were calling me on my sin of ‘anger’.

Another way of approaching "life" is simple to look at both sides and see that each has its costs and benefits. --- Mr. Kim

I think some of your numbers may be a bit skewed.

Anonymous said...

Why is a sweatshirt called a "sweatshirt?" I have never noticed any propensity for a "sweatshirt" to induce or produce sweat more than another garment of similar weight. Is this a trick zen issue? H.