I posted the photo, saying Something I can do which is absolutely Good, creative, and caring, with absolutely no down-side, and D commented, And makes one feel virtuous. Words…
Bernard Crick, commenting on the lessons of Wells’s Mr Polly and Orwell’s George Bowling, writes: Life is all right, good even, if one looks at it with the simple wonder of a child exploring everything as new, or with the heightened delight in ordinary things of a stoical person who knows that he or she is soon to die. Does one call this the mysticism of common sense? Though both Bowling and Polly have run away from their tedious lives and jobs, which got all too much for them.
I certainly did want to feel virtuous: I look back at that time and it is quite clear from what I did and how I was. And- I was not conscious of it at the time. I knew that I wanted to be good, which is a different thing. I consciously wanted to be good, because unconsciously otherwise I did not have a right to exist. As my morality changed from that of the Daily Mail to that of the Quakers I still wanted to be Good.
Mark 10:18: ‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good – except God alone.’ I don’t think Jesus is denying being Good here, so much as challenging concepts of what Good is. Are we good enough? Perhaps it does not matter: analysing how Good a past act is, is- I was going to say, backward looking, ineffective, I am not sure of that. Circumstances alter cases. Sometimes useful. Something not to do “too much”.
Now, I want- I claim- that sensation of being in the Moment, mind and body integrated, carrying out a purpose. I would have called it a Spiritual Experience, an amazing wonder, and as I have it more it remains a delight, a heightened way of being. Like in my kata practice this morning. I want my Taigyoku Shodan to be beautiful: torso upright, head gliding at the same level not bobbing up and down, hips on or off properly, place the foot not fall onto it, turn with the legs after placing the foot rather than throwing onesself round- so much detail to master, the most important being full power at the moment of the block or strike, with relaxed movement to that point. The body just does the move, without effort, because conscious effort actually gets in the way.
It is perfectly beautiful and delightful, and I still make excuses and find myself not doing it, or stay in bed a bit longer. I have moments checking my watch in my meditation space, and also moments with delight- why on Earth would one avoid it? Do you avoid your meditation time? Can you imagine why?
Being good vs. being. Feeding my soul vs. taking care of others. Not being good enough vs. knowing that my best is good enough. Not even doing my best but still knowing it’s okay. Daily occurrences but I do let up on myself when I can.
The highest treason
to do the right thing for the wrong reason- Or CS Lewis: “She lived for others. You could tell the others by their hunted look.” I think, Being is better than “being good”, as Being is good enough. I do not always act that way, though.
And- three replies, three apposite Eliot quotes! Ha! Happy dance!
I don’t think I’ve discovered the delights of meditation. Is that where you’re supposed to clear your mind? I can see the attraction, especially in stressful times, but I generally prefer a constant whir of thoughts and questions. (By the way, we have bloggingly synched – I chose between ‘virtues’ and ‘blood’ for my last post, and went for blood, whereas you have nattily combined the two themes. Spooky!!!)
I find my constant whir can get repetitive. Sometimes it moves towards answers, sometimes it just circles whines and worries. I seek to cleanse my mind, for aftersight and foresight. After you considered sacrifice, I may have to write on that. And one meditator’s insight is that the constant whir is not in fact Me.
Perhaps we avoid our meditation space because we don’t feel we deserve to be happy; we feel unworthy, preoccupied, bored, untidy. Maybe we feel it is too beautiful just now and have no wish to weep. Maybe we avoid doing what we most yearn to do, because our logic is a bully and enjoys belittling our spirit. Maybe we think fun is a waste of time. Beauty can break the heart, as well as mend it. Heartsick and homesick, we want to go back to a lighter heaven where beauty is everywhere. We miss being understood.
That’s a few reasons I have.
Bless you! xx 🙂
I think I fear it. Human kind cannot bear very much reality.