Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Attention (naming and taming)

"To be a person in the full sense you have to be an agent with a sense of yourself as agent," capable of making plans, holding values, and exercising choice." ~ Charles Taylor, Author, philosopher 

"Taking the time to give shape to the inner-being secures for the individual “the inestimable boon of a meaningful life form.” ~ Carl Jung, Psychologist

The key elements of attention consist of the following:

  • Assessment (naming, framing, and taming)
  • Perception (material, psychological, and spiritual)
  • Conflict Resolution (bargaining, negotiating, and strategizing)  

Stepping forth ..., remains intimidating throughout our lives.

...virtually all of us lack a deep sense of permission to lead our own lives.

Only when the ego has reached a certain measure of strength, or perhaps more commonly, is driven by desperation to make a different choice, can we overthrow this tyranny of history. Otherwise we all tend to slumber in history's unmade bed. Yet it is clear that we cannot choose not to choose, for not choosing is a choice from which consequences flow, and the inner split between soul and world widens. In most lives, permission to live one's life is not something one is given; it is to be seized, if not in early ego election then later in desperation, for the alternative is so much worse. ~ James Hollis, PH.D.

“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” ~ Dan Inosanto

“Getting a firm grip on our life requires that we adapt ourselves to life and that we adapt our life to ourselves. The challenge is in figuring out how best to do this in a way that works well for you.” ~ The Harvard Grant Study of Social Adjustments

“The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another, when we are there in the most attentive or caring way. This simple and profound intimacy is the love that we all long for. These moments of touching can become a foundation for a path with heart, and they take place in the most immediate and direct way. Mother Teresa put it like this: “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” ~ Jack Kornfiled

What Matters Most?

In his book of the same title, James Hollis, Ph.D. “asks each of us to consider more thoughtfully the relationship we have to ourselves, for that is what we bring to the table in the sundry scenes of this serial we call our life.”

What matters most is that we 1) aspire, 2) explore, 3) develop, 4) transform and 5) inspire others by modelling the divine virtues & spiritual qualities that we believe to be important states of being and ways of being in the world. What matters most is that we gain and practice the spiritual discipline of beginning this process anew each and every single day of our lives.

Although I was born and raised as a Christian, given my continuing level of education, past personal life experience and my ongoing interests in comparative religion, cognitive, educational and developmental psychology, interfaith dialogue, neurobiology and universal spirituality I completely denounce any doctrine, dogma, ideology, political party, religion, rhetoric or worldview that consciously chooses to remain publicly locked in a position of inequality for women, intolerance of gay, bisexual, lesbian, and trans-gender persons, and displays prejudice towards those of a different economic class, ethnicity or religion. Being fooled into believing or worse yet, to be fool enough to believe that this is pleasing to God is by simple definition absurd. If we take a long and panoramic look at the world that we are living in together it should become profoundly clear to us that nothing in all of existence remains forever stagnant not even the Almighty. Therefore, neither our minds nor hearts should stray from this first and most important principle.

This, I do believe, is what really matters most.

Eventually, we all come to learn that the truth, your truth is not something you can read about. It is not something that someone else can lecture you on or describe to you on a Sunday morning while you remain seated in even the most comfortable pew while never uttering a single word of disagreement.

Your truth, the real story must be written by you and it must be intuitively known by you. Thus the phrases, “know thyself” and “to thine own self be true”. In other words, we each enter into this world with the same job assignment: Life Manager. It’s the very important job that you and I are here to do. It may not always be easy, fair or even a fun job, but guess what?  

You own it! 

Jon Dunnemann