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    Other Outtakes from the Midnight Library that feel appropriate:

    “Sometimes just to say your own truth out loud is enough to find others like you.”

    “The paradox of volcanoes was that they were symbols of destruction but also life. Once the lava slows and cools, it solidifies and then breaks down over time to become soil – rich, fertile soil.
    She wasn’t a black hole, she decided. She was a volcano. And like a volcano she couldn’t run away from herself. She’d have to stay there and tend to that wasteland.
    She could plant a forest inside herself.”

    “Want,’ is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely.”

    “And even if you were a pawn – maybe we all are – then you should remember that a pawn is the most magical piece of all. It might look small and ordinary but it isn’t. because a pawn is never just a pawn. A pawn is a queen-in-waiting. All you need to do is find a way to keep moving forward. One square after another. And you can get to the other side and unlock all kinds of power.”

    “It is quite a revelation to discover that the place you wanted to escape to is the exact same place you escaped from. That the prison wasn’t the place, but the perspective.”

    “Nora had always had a problem accepting herself. From as far back as she could remember, she’d had the sense that she wasn’t enough. Her parents who both had their own insecurities, had encouraged that idea.
    She imagined, now, what it would be like to accept herself completely. Every mistake she had ever made. Every mark on her body. Every dream she had ever made. Every dream she hadn’t reached or pain she had felt. Every lust or longing she had suppressed.
    She imagined accepting it all. The way she accepted nature. The way she accepted a glacier or a puffin or the breach of a whale.
    She imagined seeing herself as just another brilliant freak of nature. Just another sentient animal, trying her best.
    And in doing so, she imagined what it was like to be free.”


    Hi Mindy and Matilda

    Alive but not living… not a great space to find oneself. From my own experience I learned that the way out is through. Each day taking step to change something and noticing when thinking and feeling were blocking flow. The author Matt Haig writes about such experiences. I found his book Midnight Library helpful as it reminds us we arn’t alone in this experience of being alive but not living.

    It is easy to mourn the lives we aren’t living. Easy to wish we’d developed other other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we’d worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga.

    It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn’t make and the work we didn’t do the people we didn’t do and the people we didn’t marry and the children we didn’t have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out.

    But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy.

    We can’t tell if any of those other versions would of been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on.


    Of course, we can’t visit every place or meet every person or do every job, yet most of what we’d feel in any life is still available. We don’t have to play every game to know what winning feels like. We don’t have to hear every piece of music in the world to understand music. We don’t have to have tried every variety of grape from every vineyard to know the pleasure of wine. Love and laughter and fear and pain are universal currencies. We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays.

    We are as completely and utterly alive as we are in any other life and have access to the same emotional spectrum.
    ― Matt Haig, The Midnight Library


    Hi Lorm

    Thoughts are a happening. The more you try or will yourself not to engage some thought the longer it lingers. Frustrating as from the point of view of the mind trying our not trying to engage with a though is the same thing. In both cases your holding on to it and blocking flow.

    As Helcat mentioned Meditation techniques could help. “Oh here is that fantasy again”, engage or don’t engage, whatever you choose do so without judgment as it the judgment that clings to such things and prevents flow.

    You might notice that when you don’t apply judgments to having the fantasy you might go a step further and examine the judgments your making about the fantasies your having, the desire for relationship. In the fantasy what are you labeling as good, bad, if only, shoulds…  At that point you might make such judgements conscious and being conscious allow them to inform you vice block you.

    A fantasy becomes unskillful when it becomes a trick used to hide away from life rather then engaging with life. In a fantasy world one appears to a have more control so it may ‘feel’ safer, and being safer can become a pleasant trap.  My owe experience with getting stuck in fantasy has been linked to a desire of the ego for control (both illusions). Something one can address in meditation.


    Thanks Helcat

    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experience with  attachment, memory and being Present.  I find it helpful in hearing how others express thier experiences with what they are learning.


    Hi Helcat
    The African Yoruba religion have a interesting take on reincarnation is that the soul actually chooses the experience they wish to have in life.  No training required. I have a friend that believes this as it give her comfort.

    From what I read of the wisdom traditions with regards to choosing ones next life, it stars with ‘knowing one self’ so that you can ‘see’ reality clearly and thier by respond to it vice react. Then you get face with the challenge of coming to terms with the problem of opposites, duality, binary thinking.   You can see the problem of binary thinking played out on social media where everything seems to be either or, like – dislike, with me – against me, all or nothing. Language doesn’t help as its dependent on contrasting and implying the opposite.

    Funny thing as the problem of opposites becomes resolved within ones experience, words disappear including the ‘I’ which I think Rob hints at.

    I’d be very interested in you take on a problem I’ve had with Buddhism and other traditions. In Buddhism only the Now exists yet many of the concepts and teachings appear to be projected onto some future and that seems like a contradiction.

    Lately when I read about such things from various wisdom traditions I’ve been re-referencing the teachings to the Now. Is what I’m learning about the Now? In that context the teachings seem to resonate. Heaven is now, nirvana is now, hell is now, purgatory is now, death is now, life is now…  If we don’t notice its because we see the world as we are not as it is, we get in the way. So the work (training) is so that we see ourselves better and doing so get out of the way. (surprise the self, small s, disappears as does separateness.)

    Using the story of the Garden, Adam and Eve gain the knowledge or good and evil. Note that  ‘knowledge of‘ is not the same as the ‘knowledge of what is‘ and so we have tension between the opposites. This tension gives birth to ego consciousness, language and the problem of opposites.  How can something be good one moment and bad the next? Its a problem, and the first thing Adam and Eve note with this new ego consciousness is that they are separate, maybe not good and naked where being naked is judged shameful. So they try to hide and cover themselves up with layers of ‘clothing’ – personas/masks.

    The end is in the beginning, babies become conscious though the tension of opposite and the suspicion of separation from mother.  Then we spend the rest of our lives trying to undo that experience which all the wisdom traditions point to involving learning to see through the problem of opposites and a realization that we arn’t and never were separate ‘I’s’.

    You, me, everyone, everything is IT and that is a happening and possibility of every Now.

    No Idea if that made any sense just seeing where the thoughts go. Still thanks for allowing me to express them.


    As a aside karma/memory disappears once one ‘knows’ (not a mind knowing) that life and death are not sperate. There not even two sides of the same coin, at least that’s not a great metaphor. The problem being is that your likely pick up the coin and flip it calling heads OR tails when their is no OR. No matter how small you slice the coin you will never be able to separate the two.

    A issue hear is language as we don’t have a word to communicate this think that is  life/death though some might use the word G_d if that word wasn’t so loaded. Perhaps the word Tao – Watts “I prefer not to translate the word Tao at all because the Tao is a sort of nonsense syllable, indicating the mystery that we can never understand—the unity that underlies the opposites.”


    During the process of death and rebirth there is an opportunity to choose which realm you are born into.

    Not sure if ‘choose’ is the correct word. If in that perspective life and death are a “something” that is separate or a experience that is projected to some future end/beginning then karma/memory (seeing the world as we are not as it is) is a huge factor in that notion of choice. Begs the question how to see the world as it is and so respond to it as it is? The answer involves getting out of the ‘I’ out of the way.  Thus we work for that which no work is required as thier is no I.

    From another perspective ‘death and rebirth’ is THE realty of every “Now”- every breath a opportunity to get out of the way.

    What you are in your in-most being escapes your examination in rather the same way that you can’t look directly into your own eyes without using a mirror, you can’t bite your own teeth, you can’t taste your own tongue, and you can’t touch the tip of this finger with the tip of this finger – Watts

    The I does not exist as sperate. Nothing is separate and everything belongs.

    “Your real self, the real you, is everything there is… but concentrated and expressing itself at the point called your physical organism.”

    “We are all floating in a tremendous river and the river carries you along. Some of the people in the river are swimming against the current, but they are still being carried along. Others have learned that the art of the thing is to swim with it. You have to flow with the river. There is no other way. You can swim against it, and pretend not to be flowing with it. But you still flow with the river. Swimming Headless

    “When you know that you have to go with the river, suddenly you acquire—behind everything that you do—the power of the river.” – Watts



    I guess my question is this: how do we overcome the past year, especially when it was so tough, and move on to the next one with hope and faith?

    We work for that which no work is required.


    I might recommend Joseph Campbell ‘Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation’

    Campbell defined myth as “other people’s religion.” But he also said that one of the basic functions of myth is to help each individual through the journey of life, providing a sort of travel guide or map to reach fulfillment — or, as he called it, bliss. For Campbell, many of the world’s most powerful myths support the individual’s heroic path toward bliss.

    In Pathways to Bliss, Campbell examines this personal, psychological side of myth.  Here he anchors mythology’s symbolic wisdom to the individual, applying the most poetic mythical metaphors to the challenges of our daily lives.

    Campbell dwells on life’s important questions. Combining cross-cultural stories with the teachings of modern psychology, he examines the ways in which our myths shape and enrich our lives and shows how story/myth can help each of us truly identify and follow our bliss.

    Another book you may like is  “Reflections on the Art of Living – A Joseph Campbell Companion” by Diane K. Osbon


    sadly editing is no longer allowed

    Believe yourself to be Purpose and everything you engage with will be a experience of being alive.
    Life in this moment is as it should be. Seeking purpose outside oneself is like trying to grasp air with your hands.
    You are where you should be in order to take the next step.

    Everything experienced needed to be experienced so never wasted time.


    Dear humour,

    I like your username. I wonder what lead you to chose it.

    I feel sad about all the wasted years of my life. I wish I could go back in time and change many things.

    I don’t think purpose has much to do with the stuff you do not when YOU are Purpose

    We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about

    People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning (purpose) for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. ― Joseph Campbell

    Believe yourself to be Purpose and everything you engage with will be a experience of being alive.
    Life in the moment is as the should be. Seeking purpose outside oneself is like trying to grasp air with your hands. You are where you should in order to take the next step. Everything experienced is never wasted time.

    As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off.
    Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance.
    Having a sense of humor saves you.” ― Joseph Campbell


    “You can’t test your courage timidly. You have to run through the fire, arms waving, legs pumping and heart beating, wildly with the effort of reclaiming something vital, lost, laid aside or just plain forgotten. When you do that, you discover that we shine most brightly in community, the whole bedraggled, worn, frayed and tattered lot of us, bound together forever by a shared courage, a family forged in the heat of earnest struggle.” – Richard Wagamese




    Are we born with purpose or do we create it?

    Perhaps its a false choice as it is dependent on how one relates and or defines the notion of purpose.
    Is it viewed with perspective of observing ones life from the outside and or from within? Is it within the scope of ‘all time’ and or a moment of time? Is it a objective and or subjective experience? It it a something we measure and or others measure? Should it be measured at all?

    It is said all things happen for a reason. Some associate that statement with purpose and fate. We assume the saying means something but does it?  We can’t create something from nothing so yes their was a moment that came before this moment and influenced it. Is that what we mean when we say things happen for a reason?

    Ego Conciseness is linear, cause and effect but Life isn’t, In life everything is connected. It is only in measurement that things are separated. But measurement is man defined and doesn’t exist in Life. It is only in hindsight, in memory, (karma) that we  string together events and say look thier is a reason, and look here, here is meaning. Of all the information that exits in a moment of time, however we measure that, we base our findings on very little.


    would not let me edit the bad

    What is the point of prayer and meditation?
    Old woman: To bring you closer to the Great Mystery.
    So I can understand it?
    Old: woman: No. So you can participate in it.
    Richard Wagamese


    so many people here will find their faith in buddha

    It is my understanding that Buddhahood is a state of becoming, a state of consciousness. Gautama becomes Buddha when he awakened. When Gautama became Buddha he had to face the problem of teaching what could not be taught.  He did not want his  followers to blindly accept his teaching but to experience them, find the truth. the path, for themselves.

    Fear is to Courage as Doubt is to Faith.  The opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty.

     Buddhism finds meaning by ending suffering. Stoicism finds meaning by accepting suffering.

    I don’t believe that is a accurate statement about Buddhism. For a Buddhist the question of meaning is unskillful, the notion of ‘finding meaning’ itself a source of suffering.  The question of meaning being pointless when you are the answer. Nirvana, the end of suffering, is a state that Transends the opposites/duality (measuring) and thus bliss. (end to measuring which we are really, really, really bad at)

    no matter what you practice, we all believe we are here to promote the common good, through improving ourselves and leaving the world a better place

    I would agree. The difficulty of course is the very notion/awareness of THE  ‘Good’ and ‘Better’. A Buddhist might say that it is in the defining, attaching, measuring and judging that we create suffering. How to avoid the trap of measuring (dualism – ego consciousness) and attachment and remain fully engaged with Life as it is.  How to avoid the ‘why bother?’ – or ‘suicide’ as Camus might say)  Thus the birth of all philosophy and wisdom traditions.

    What is the point of prayer and meditation?

    Old woman: To bring you closer to the Great Mystery.

    So I can understand it?

    Old: woman: No. So you can participate in it.

    – Richard Wagamese

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