Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dead Men Walking

DHS 91/100

"[I]t happens fairly often that essence dies in a man while his personality and his body are still alive. A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror."

G.I. Gurdjieff
In In Search Of The Miraculous: Fragments Of An Unknown Teaching
by P.D.Oupensky

When you think about that, it is incredibly frightening how true this is, and much more so now than when Gurdjieff said it back in the first half of the 20th century. While a certain portion of these shells do know and understand that they are walking dead but don't see how to cure themselves, what moves this from the frightening column to the sad column in the ledger of Life is the fact that a vastly larger percentage of these people have no clue. Not only are they empty shells, but they neither see this nor would accept it if it were pointed out to them.

All too often today, at least in the modern "Westernized" parts of the world, people have come to believe that what really matters in the world are things like the current status of Brangelina's relationship and whether he'll ever get back together with Jen, the current plot line of the the popular hit TV programs, who is leading the polls for American Idol or Britain's Got Talent, and who's hot in Hollywood this year.

Taking the time to disconnect and to contemplate what it means to be a human being, what it means to be a member of society, what it means to be a country, and what it means to be alive is a rare occurrence. Or, a little more accurately, the individuals who take the time to contemplate these issues are very rare.

And the people who probably top the list of walking dead, those who are empty inside even though they don't know it, are the politicians that rule the world. Whatever happened to the concept of truth and justice? When did partisanship and lies acquire more value than compromise and honesty. When did special interests and cronyism become more important than "We the people?"

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish political action committees and politically connected think tanks, seek to establish laws that favor one religion or wealth class over all others, coddle the rich and screw the poor, and seek to impose our wishes on the world's population. ...

I didn't mean to side track into politics again, but ....  my original thought as i started to write was the unwillingness of most people to really take a look at their lives and what it means to Live. If more people would do that, this world would be so much better off, so many more people could live happy and productive lives.

All it would take is a few minutes each day. A few minutes focused on the simple question of "What one thing could i do or say today that would benefit someone else, even though i derive no benefit at all?" If everyone did that once a day, day in and day out, they would find that not only would they become better (and happier) people over time, but the world as a whole would follow suit.

Look inside. Are you hollow? Know that that emptiness can be filled. And should be filled. And believe it or not, you'll be happier when you do so.

Oh, and speaking of Gurdjieff, here's an interesting old movie on YouTube.

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