Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Heaven and Hell

There is a story of a Heaven and Hell that are the same except that in Heaven people feed each other with long spoons and in hell they starve because their spoons are too long to feed themselves.

There seem to be two points. One is that H and H are the same place, and two, that the difference is that when you care for others you'll be in Heaven.

So what makes us think that if only I had x y and z I'd be so happy. Supposedly, dentists have the highest rate of suicide and the poor Burmese are happy beyond belief. What does that say?

How do we reframe the life we have so that it is Heaven? Other than feeding the other, what can we do.

The people in Hell are just thinking about themselves. They are not part of a whole, but rather believe they are single entities. The are miserable and starving—not only from lack of food, but from lack of loving and being loved.

We talk about being nurtured. When we are young, we think happiness is getting what we want. But soon discover that has problems in itself. We might have what we want and then worry that it won't stick around. It might grow stale. It might fall on the floor and break.

In Heaven and Hell we find the same food and the same silverware. And we find people acting differently. This is counterintuitive in a sense. Feed others to be fed?How can that be? Is that different from our primordial instincts?

I heard about an elephant that died, and all the other elephants came to the elephant corpse and mourned for three days. Why should other elephants care about an elephant that they might have rarely interacted with previously?

I keep thinking I should say something more personal about my particular quest for happiness. When have I tried to feed myself with an impossibly long spoon? And have I realized that I'm not separate but rather part of a team?

What is the food? What can I do to help others eat it? Perhaps not interrupting and letting others tell their story is one way (Lao-Tau)? What are other ways?

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