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Susan

Robert

I enjoy your site. You have so many great articles and food for thought.

Your latest post brings up some interesting points about ease, happiness, and beauty. It seems to me that each age or decade has a particular focus. In our New Age many teachers and authors are stressing ease, happiness, how to find joy, and atrract money and abudnance. Happiness has become an end in itself. Work has become a taboo word, equated with struggle.

The concept of attracting what you want is not acutally new. The packaging of the concept has changed. In ages past it was called magic, now it is called thought, and it is easier now.

But that's quite a load of responsiblity, guilt, and confusion for those who don't feel great or joyful every day, and don't attract what we currently consider wealth and abundance, and their lives are not 'nouveau' beautiful. Beauty is an expensive shiny new toy. I think many of us have misconceptions of abundance and beauty, promoted by marketing and the Wall Street belief that expansion and "more and bigger" is the only way to succeed.

Beauty is dictated by Hollywood and marketing; automakers are continualy planting the seed of guilt if you don't have a shiny new car; and beauty is related to dollars and cents.

Would you please say more about beauty? What is beauty? We have such a skewed concept of beauty in this country. How is beauty different from happiness? If someone sees something beautiful does it need to make them happy?

Maybe we need to understand happiness.

In your post you have a quote from Emerson, "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." From Einstein, I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves - such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. - Einstein.

Those quotes are certainly the antithesis of the "in" teaching of the New Age of personal happiness, joy and ease above all else. It makes the authors wealthy, but does it make them happy? Making a difference in the world seems so out of style.

How does this fit in with astrology?

Again thanks for the wonderful posts.

Susan

Robert

Hi Susan - Your comment raises many important points that require a more thoughtful answer than a one-liner. Since I'm off to see "the DaVinci Code" right now, I'll wait to craft an answer until tomorrow, when I have more time.

For now, I'll state that most "New Age" assertions and assumptions are just so much happy talk and wishful thinking. To the earnest student of Truth and the Wisdom Tradition, most of the New Age cheerleading is only for those who are spiritual immature, those who can be bribed with "vain imaginings," as Florence Scovel Shinn described them. Ultimately glamor is a world problem, as is the tendency for those of limited study, knowledge, and understanding to be seduced by ideas that inflate the ego and help it to avoid its responsibility to walk the walk of selfless service to suffering humanity.

As one great Master of the Wisdom said, "Nothing great was ever created in comfort." It is in the striving that we generate positivity, aka "bodhichitta," and distill wisdom from our experiences in overcoming tendencies to suffering. Then we become fit for the goal and purpose of "perfected humanity." More later.

Susan

Robert,

This article and many others on your site, as well your responce to my post, have given me much to ponder. Since then I have been having many Buddha Full days.

In the synchronicities of life, I have been given many events to back up what you have stimulated in my mind. The world has been outwardly quiet this week, and this has given me time to slow down, enoy life, and let answers come.

Did you enjoy The Da Vinci Code?

Robert

Actually, a good movie. I have done some research on the life of the Nazarene, his lost years, and what happened after the crucifixion. While the movie contains some elements of fiction, it was very interesting. I can't believe so many got so bent out of shape. It has left me pondering that a lot of people have too much time on their hands, and not enough tolerance.

Susan

I also enjoyed the movie. I haven't been to the movies in years. I'm used to the old slow movies with more dialouge. Once I got used to the faster pace and the noise, I enjoyed it.

The lost time of the Nazarene has always fascinated me as well. I'm looking forward to future books on this subject. I have your book on Mercury Retrograde -- very good and insightful. If you ever write a book that covers something like the Nazarene, and helps to understand the philosophical, metaphysical aspect, I'll the first to pick it up.

Cheers

Robert

Though it was banned, you may be able to find a copy somewhere. "A Search for the Historical Jesus" by Professor Fidas Hassnain was the best source material I've read. Best of luck finding it.

Susan

Thanks, I found it on Amazon. 4 copies left, 2 at a reasonable price, then they go to $45.00

Roberta

A favorite:

Look to this day,
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and verities of existence.
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power –

For yesterday is but a dream.
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today, well lived,
Makes every yesterday a dream
of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.

Sanskrit proverb by Kalidasa,
Indian poet and playwright,
Fifth century C.E.

Robert

Thanks for that timeless piece from Kalidasa, Roberta. I have read it before, and it is always a good reminder that there is no other time but now, and we have only this day to do what we must, since we can't do anything yesterday, and we can only hope we have tomorrow, since it's never guaranteed. But in this moment we do have power, joy, and potential, beyond what many believe. Again, a beautiful reminder that in fact, "look to this day, for it is life, the very life of life..."

Diane Scholten

That reminder feels SO timely to me. I found out last week that a friend from 1987-1990 who was a big part of my life back then committed suicide in 2003. I've always thought "one of these days I'll have to give Mary Lynn a call - find her on the Internet & call her up." Well I found her on the Internet alright - her obituary. We need to celebrate life & love NOW - not wait.

Robert

Diane, I am so sorry for your loss. I also have had more than a few friends commit suicide, including two who were my best friends, and I have never understood why they would give up, when there is so much more life to live. I've been through my share of hell and beyond in this life, but never contemplated suicide since I was about 18 or 19, which is kinda-sorta to be expected, given how self-absorbed teenagers are. So perhaps you still need to give her Soul a call, and send her a blessing that her eternal nature find peace and wisdom on its own level. And of course, in doing that you send love, and strengthen the bond. Sorry she was so poor of spirit; so were two of my best friends a long time ago.

Valerie

It's amazing how this blog took its course from what constitutes beauty to the Nazarene to living for today to suicide.... it reminds me of how I learned how to rise above my difficult marriage back in the 80's and embrace life. I found God (Edgar Cayce had alot to do with it) and can always use a reminder. I know what it is like to be really depressed and somehow pick myself up again. This proverb is very nice, thank you Roberta.
Also Susan, I like your expression "Buddha Full days"! (beautiful) Did you hear that somewhere or think it up yourself? Nice way of turning a phrase... Something we should all strive for. As for beauty... go out and smell the lilacs, this is May. Check out how many shades of green the land is turning. There is something beautiful about each season. Don't even get me started, there is so much beauty in the world, and I don't mean shiny toys!

Robert

Hi Valerie - Yes, the people who comment here are a very eclectic bunch, all pretty compassionate. Glad you found this article and it helped you remember what you've learned about embracing life. Beauty is everywhere!

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