Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Monstaville Book II. Chapter 12


Pain makes us think: “He who learns must suffer. Even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart & in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us.”
- Aeschylus.

Alternatives to violence: Children’s TV.

All religions teach us that violence is bad and that if someone is violent to you, you don’t have to be violent back. There are other ways. If someone bullies you, you don’t have to take it. You can hiss at them instead: frighten them away.

Hindu story: A holy man tells a snake to live in peace with all creatures and not to bite anyone. The snake goes away and honours the holy man’s advice. He returns to see the holy man, covered in bruises, with a black eye. ‘What happened to you?’ the holy man asks of the snake. ‘Well, I was sleeping under a tree one night,’ replies the snake, ‘and some boys came by and started intimidating me. I told them that I have stopped biting my enemies and now live in peace with all creatures. So they attacked me and this is what happened to me. The holy man then says, ‘I told you not to bite people but I didn’t say you shouldn’t hiss at them!’

Violence is not an option. But, you are free to use what other resources are at your disposal to deter aggressors. Basically, the story shows that violence only breeds more violence, so it is really ineffective because it sustains a negative relationship. If you change your mind with the positive, creative, spiritual power of pure being, that itself is enough to deter your enemies. That is powerful itself because it relates directly to the other person’s soul. It is a call to the God within them so they become conscious of their better nature. Their negativity is then balanced and defeated rather than fed and increased.

The Last Samurai (directed by Edward Zwick, 2003).

During Samurai sword training:

Katsumoto’s son Nobutada (Shin Koyamada): Please forgive - too many mind.
Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise): Too many mind?
Nobutada: Hai. Mind the sword, mind the people watch, mind the enemy, too many mind...No mind.

‘Too much mind’: that is, too many thoughts and concerns. Empty the mind so your will can be expressed clearly - with ‘no mind.’

The samurai (which means ‘service’) wake up each morning and dedicate themselves immediately to the perfection of everything they do. Incredible discipline.

Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe): "You could spend your entire life looking for the perfect cherry blossom, and it would not be a wasted life.”

Treat each moment, each breath, as a beautiful blossom. Appreciate its beauty and feel its joy.

Here, in the present moment, everything is perfect because this is the eternal now at the core of our dream lives on Earth the passing clouds which obscure the Sun.

Algren and Katsumoto in The Last Samurai

St. Francis (The Shining Brother. Recording the spirit return of St. Francis of Assisi and its sequel Francis Speaks Again by Laurence Temple, Psychic Press, London, U.K., 1941).

p.114. “‘Remember that the way is hard and there is no easy victory...My son, rest in me and be at peace, for I lead ye. I have shown ye the hidden path and have revealed the Secret Glory of the Unbegotten. Ye have come to the moment when the spirit gathereth strength...Knowledge shall be given ye as ye grow in power; and as ye serve thy brethren, even so will the angels guard ye and make ye a channel for their gifts to the children of men.
                ‘Tender hath been my care for ye, though the darkness hid me from ye...Those who are to be cupbearers to the Blessed One must give up all and be purified by fire. Much suffering must they pass through, yet each trial is a step to a higher state of being, bringing joy to the soul...
                ‘Ye have heard the call: ‘Arise and come,’ and the way hath been made smooth for ye, for that is thy Father’s care; for he wills not that ye shall suffer save in outward seeming. For in that must ye be an ensample to such as shall gather unto ye. But in the inward parts shall ye find harmony and peace and the light of deathless love that love that hath linked ye through the ages till this day of thine awakening. In the silence of thy soul shall ye realise my presence and accept the gift I offer of Life which transcends thine own and which awaiteth the hour to declare itself.”

“Someone asked, ‘Why is there suffering?’ Baba gave this succinct reply: ‘Suffering is essential for the elimination of the ego, just as it was necessary for you to scrub and scrub in order to wash the stain from my coat.’" - Meher Baba.

Sathya Sai Baba (Bhagavan’s Golden Voice. Audio cassette tape No.9. Baba’s discourse during the Auspicious Ceremony, the Dessera Festival, 9 October 1989).

“A man may be an emperor with all the comfort that power can afford, or he may be a hero - famous and enjoyed victory against all his enemies, or he may be a servant suffering from the blessings of the Goddess of Poverty. Whoever he may be, if he does not have love in his heart, he is useless. Even if he is an Emperor of Emperors, if he does not have love in his heart, he is useless. All are inferior to the servant who has love. He alone is a scholar who has love and devotion in him. A person who has love in his heart - his mind will be full of peace, sturdiness [?] and sacredness. It is not affected by any element of defeat, troubles, tribulations or problems. Love of God is the most important requirement for this.
                Faith in oneself, self-confidence, is all that makes a man beautiful. Self-confidence and faith in oneself can confer extraordinary power which is inner vision [?]. Every man has to make an effort to develop self-confidence, which can confer so many things on him. Love should be free from any expectations of reward and it must be developed into pure selfless love which is true love. One has to develop love which does not have any reason whatsoever...A selfless man alone can serve society properly. Only the selfless people who serve society have the right to serve the Lord. In the very first place, therefore, we have to develop sacrifice in us. You can get sacrifice only through love. A person with love can make any sacrifice....You are God...Chant the name of the Lord and make Him your intimate friend.”

“Faith means living with uncertainty - feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark.” - Dan Millman.

“Everybody wants to turn you into a servant. And when you won’t be a servant for them then you’re no good. Then you’re bad. No matter how hard you try to please them you’re still no good. You can never serve them enough. They’ve always got to have more. So it doesn’t matter; sooner or later they’re going to hate you no matter what you do.” - Robert M. Pirsig (Lila. An Inquiry Into Morals, Black Swan, London, U.K., 1991, p.278).

‘You serve but you’re not a servant. Serving is an art. God is the first to serve. He serves man but he is not a servant.’ (Paraphrased from the inspirational and controversial comedy Life Is Beautiful, directed by Roberto Benigni, Italy, 1997).

Master Kan (Philip Ahn): A man truly himself will not enrich his own interests and make a virtue of poverty. He goes his way without depending on others yet is not arrogant that he needs no one. The greatest man is nobody.
                - Kung Fu (Season 2, Episode 16, ‘In Uncertain Bondage,’ 1974).

“Life is a place of service, and in that service one has to suffer a great deal that is hard to bear, but more often to experience a great deal of joy. But that joy can be real only if people look upon their lives as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.” - Leo Tolstoy.

“The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.” - Laozi.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Strive to be of service to others...service to others is the highest service to God...He that would be the greatest among you will be the servant of all.” - Edgar Cayce.

“Altruism is the best source of happiness. There is no doubt about it.” - Dalai Lama.

“To move from one unselfish action to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness.” - Marcus Aurelius (Meditations: 6.7. Translated by Gregory Hays, p.70).

"Only a life lived for others is worth living." - Albert Einstein.

“Do good, be good, see good: this is the way to God.” - Sai Baba.

“Be good; if you’re not good, be careful.” (The Fortune Cookie Book. Running Press, Pennsylvania, U.S., 2001).

“Love all, serve all. All is One.” - Sai Baba.

“As far as you can, become a slave, not a monarch. Endure blows. Be the ball and not the bat.” - Rumi, Masnavi I: 1868 (Rumi: A Spiritual Treasury. Compiled by Juliet Mabey. Oneworld Publications, Oxford, U.K., 2000, p.83).

"The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom." - James Allen.

I recalled a boy from my comprehensive school in the same year as me but always in the top class. He was very intelligent, gentle and sensitive, always smiling, not easily disturbed, unaffected, like an angel. Even though he found it hard to join in, he was always alive and observing, calmly attentive and with a good sense of humour, always ready to laugh. He had a huge nose and was teased about its likeness to that of Concorde but didn’t seem to mind or react to piss-taking, willing to join in the usually harmless but occasionally cruel fun which, being aimed at himself, might just as well have been directed anywhere in the great Illusion of human life. He seemed to know it was all a game and did not expect to get through school without being picked on by much lesser mortals, of whom there were so many. I remember him often resorting to protect himself with his large, old brown leather briefcase, shielding himself from bullies who regarded him as an easy and therefore irresistible target. He was exposed to such ruffians generally only when queuing up for lunch (when I was especially vulnerable to one particular bully part of me would still love to get my hands on even now!).

This boy was calm and quietly confident, with a power that was like divine protection from anything too disturbing that was happening to him. I guess he was intelligent to see it for what it was: passing clouds; not just passing but destined to be dissolved too one day. He had his own special destiny I’m sure. He had a strong mind but was not a very physical person. He had to deal with situations the best he could...and he could be riled too and protest if the assaults became too menacing or threatening. As they became more serious, so did he and it was clear that he was prepared to do something to defend himself if pushed too far and if there was any chance to act or get help. This strength protected him too, even though he remained ever vulnerable. For the most part, he did not allow the bitching and intimidation to get to him. Looking back, I can see that he is an inspiration and admire his subtle courage and silent generosity. Patience and humility but with confidence and self-esteem and with strength and an active will. Every geek can at least derive self-esteem from their intelligence and every sensitive artist like myself through their creativity and imagination. These are ‘superhuman’ qualities many do not have.

This situation with Pigsy involves a school bully and someone who was bullied at school both living in the same house decades after having left school!

Ruth (Kate Winslett): “Your physical superiority makes you unkind.” (Holy Smoke, directed by Jane Campion, 1999).

“Sorrow is but the preface to wisdom.” - Dr. Paul Brunton.

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” - Robert Gary Lee.

"The highest form of wisdom is kindness."- Babylonian Talmud.

"Laughter is the spark of the soul." – Unknown.

Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson): You can say that again, George. We're in a stickier situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a sticky bun. We are in trouble.

[Enter Baldrick in drag].

Baldrick (Tony Robinson): Not anymore sir. May I present my cunning plan?
Blackadder: Don't be ridiculous, Baldrick. Can you sing, can you dance? Or are you offering to be sawn in half?
Baldrick: I don't think those things are important in a modern marriage, sir. I offer simple home cooking.
Blackadder: Our plan is to find a new leading lady for our show. What is your plan?
Baldrick: My plan is that I will marry General Melchett. I am the other woman.
George (Hugh Laurie): Well, congratulations Baldrick. I hope you will be very happy.
Baldrick: I will, sir, cos when I get back from honeymoon, I will be a member of the aristocracy and you will have to call me 'M'lady'.
Blackadder: What happened to your Revolutionary principles, Baldrick? I thought you hated the aristocracy.
Baldrick: I'm working to bring down the system from within, sir. I'm a sort of a Frozen Horse.
Blackadder: Trojan Horse, Baldrick.
Baldrick: Anyway, I can't see what's so stupid about marrying into wealth and money and not having to sleep in a puddle.
- Blackadder Goes Forth (Series 4, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, BBC TV, 1989).

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