The temptation is to say something – anything – to cause a stir in the still pond of my existence. It is so easy to forget, or ignore, deny or simply not pay any attention to, the repetitive urges that arise and fall away. And one of these is the urge to be noticed. The whole web shines with the sweat of this attempt: to draw attention to oneself, to one’s accomplishments, from having eaten to having slept with someone, from having achieved a particular level of fitness or flexibility, to the capacity one has to engender that level in others. And where does a non-participant, an observer, fit into this? This is as difficult as the koan on wealth: how can any of us justify making a living that does more than cover the most basic provisions at a time when the resources of the planet are being so violently turned in towards the exploitation by sectors of the human species? And yet we live beyond our basic means, even those of us who wish to tread as lightly as possible on the earth. We still yearn for extravagance and long to spend a day at a spa or, undisturbed, on an empty beach, with coconut water to drink (maybe curdled with a shot or two of well matured rum), and with, at the very least, a pineapple and mango salad (though a barbecue might well extend and deepen the pleasure of the moment). We cannot help ourselves. It is our extravagance that drives us. This urge to blame others is part of the problem. We must come back always to a place of total self awareness, and that includes honesty: it includes being able to acknowledge our own temptations. And the degree to which we fulfill them, given the means we have. Deep peace.
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