Worlds Within Worlds of Rules

Spirit tells me that happiness is not
different things to different people,
as some might believe it to be.

Happiness is a feeling of contentment
that harmonizes both intellect and
emotion.

Can it last?

Nothing lasts.

But, is it a thing?

What?

Happiness.

What else could it be?

A state of mind.

States and minds are things.

But, people seek happiness.

Where? How?

Wherever and however they seem to think
it might be found.

It can never be found.

Then, is it possible to become happy
or contented.

Yes.

How?

Develop a satisfied mind.

How?

Live by rules of your own choosing.

How to know if I am choosing
the rules I live by?

Who else could choose them?

Most social rules were created before
I was born.

So what?

I didn’t choose them.

Do you live by them?

Some of them.

Why only some?

Some are required.

Why?

They are designed to create order where
there might otherwise be chaos.

Such as?

Traffic laws.

Yes.

What does that mean?

Traffic laws are a form of general rules
designed to benefit all members of specific
societies.

What rules would benefit individuals?

Whatever would benefit a group can only be
effective if it is followed by individuals
within the group.

So, the personal and the general are as one?

Yes and no.

How so?

Group rules apply to everyone to whom
they apply.

And personal rules?

Personally chosen rules are selected from
general rules.

Worlds within worlds of rules?

Yes. Our personal rules should be chosen
above and beyond those we accept.

Who el

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Independence is Never Disconnection

Spirit tells me that, once, when we were young,
we praised the concept of independence and that
now we are aware of the unavoidable reality of
connection.

How to resolve the problem?

What problem?

The need to be in relationship and still
feel independent of that relationship?

It isn’t possible.

Why?

Relationships require a degree of overlap
of personal interests, desires, or goals.

Is a relationship a midway point between
independence and connection?

A relationship is a connection.

In what way?

In our attitude toward whatever or
whomever we feel related to.

Isn’t it possible to feel neither for
nor against someone or something?

No.

What about a middle way?

There is no middle way.

Then why did the ancient wisdom teachers
speak of a middle way?

To lure their people from extremes.

Then, independence and connection are as
yang and yin?

In what way?

In that neither can exist independently
from the other except in degrees of
separation?

Yes. Each contains the other and
continuously moves either toward
or away from being completely absorbed
by the other.

The incoming tide becomes the outgoing
tide?

Yes, just as the full moon seems to
continuously empty and refill itself.

There is only one shape to the moon,
even though it appears to be shaped
differently at different times?

Yes.

Does that suggest that independence
and connection are as different sides
of the same coin?

Yes.

Limitless Potential

Spirit tells me that limitless potential is all that is,

was, or ever will be.

 

What does that mean in terms of those of us

who live in a very material and physical world?

 

It means that your so-called world is a temporary

experience.

 

The world as an experience?

 

Your world as an experience.

 

I am experiencing a personal world?

 

Yes.

 

How?

 

How what?

 

How can I experience a personal world?

 

By creating one.

 

Consciously?

 

More or less.

 

Then, everyone else creates and experiences

their own personal world?

 

Yes.

 

Then, how do all of our personal worlds

merge together?

 

They cannot.

 

But, we co-exist on or in one material world.

 

Do you?

 

What does that mean?

 

When or while we each create and experience

our separate existence from others, then

we each see the same reality from a personal

perspective.

 

Example?

 

One group may fight to defend a perceived claim

to land that the inhabitants of that land fight

to defend as their homeland. Then, each group

justifies their own action and condemns that

of the other.

 

You’re going to tell me that individuals think

and behave in the same way as groups?

 

No.

 

Then, what?

 

Groups are individuals who think and behave

as individuals, only collectively.

 

Then, the way we see the group world we each

create individually can only be changed

by individuals?

 

Yes.

 

How?

 

We need to learn to accept that others may not

experience the same thoughts as we do.

 

What about emotions?

 

What about them?

 

Do we not also experience different emotions?

 

No.

 

Then, emotions are more limited than thoughts?

 

Yes. Emotions have a more limited variety

than thoughts, but their depth is endless.

 

So, thoughts have an endless creative potential

but emotions possess a limitless depth of

expression?

 

Yes.

Caring for Community and Relationships is Personal

Spirit asks me if I practice caring for my home.

I don’t need to practice. I know how to do that.

Do you do it?

Yes.

How well do you do it?

As well as I can, all things considered.

What things?

The time available, my energy level, and
my interest in doing so at any particular
time.

So, caring for your home is a job?

Not as a paid job. It is a duty.

A duty to whom?

To myself.

Why?

I enjoy living in a clean and well
cared for home.

Yes.

Where is this line of questioning going?

To your community and to your relationships.

Caring wise or duty wise?

Yes.

As with my home, I do what I can.

All things considered?

Yes.

What things?

Is this a second verse or round two?

No.

Then, what?

With personal possessions we have
a personal interest to care for them.

Surely we also have a personal interest
to care for our community and
relationships.

Yes.

I walked into that one.

Yes.

Creative Passion as a Dance of Yang and Yin

Spirit tells me that creative passion is a dance,
as much as a joint venture, between intellect
and emotion, each directing the other to music
they are co-creating as they respond to each other,
in a continuous blend of unrehearsed movement.

Wow! That sounds seductive.

It is, intentionally so.

Then, to bring it all back to reality …

It never left.

How does such a …

Way of life?

Wouldn’t it be exhausting?

In what way?

In relation to spiritual development.

It is the only way.

Even for a Bodhisattva?

Especially for her, or him.

Then, in serving others more
while serving ourselves no less …

More or less of what?

Personal and community care.

And environmental?

Yes.

Intellect provides us with means
to learn to understand what needs
to be done and what we can do
to satisfy that need.

And emotion?

Knowing what and how to contribute
is totally unproductive without
desire to inspire us to act on
the awareness intellect provides.

Yang and Yin?

Yes.

Simplicity is Where Thinking Begins

Spirit tells me that Simplicity has its place
but it should not be as a quality of thought.

Is that a personal comment?

Yes.

Why do you not scold my simplicity of emotion?

What have your emotions to do with your thinking?

Is it possible to have deep thoughts and simple
emotions?

What have emotions to do with thinking?

You’re luring me into an intellectual trap.

Yes.

Then, pleas explain.

What?

The relationship between thought and emotion

They interact with each other.

As cause and effect?

Which would be cause?

Emotion.

No.

If thought does not act on emotion, then …

But, thought does act on emotion.

Then why do you say emotion does not
cause thought.

Because it isn’t necessarily so.

Then, interact in this case means …

Mutual influence.

How do they influence each other?

Some of us develop the capacity
to think rationally, while still
maintaining uncomplicated emotions.

Then you approve of simple emotions?

There are no other kind.

Is Acceptance Necessarily Contentment?

Spirit tells me that acceptance is contentment.

How can I feel content about accepting something
that I can’t change?

What else would you feel?

Defeated.

In losing a battle you know or believe that
you never could win?

What else could I feel?

Satisfied with yourself that you did, if you did,
everything you could do to win.

And satisfaction is as contentment?

In this case, yes

Are we referring to a specific case?

Yes, and no.

As particular and general?

Yes.

We Fear Losing Control

Spirit tells me tht we express love by caring for and
respecting that or those whom we claim to love.

But, there are unlimited degrees of quantity and quality
of care and respect.

Yes, and there are unlimited degrees of love.

And quality?

Love itself expresses the quality of our soul’s
development.

Can we control love?

No. What we don’t express, we don’t have to express.
Love is limited only by the personal restrictions
we put on ourselves. We each possess the potential
to love unconditionally.

Then, why don’t we?

We fear losing control.

Why Do We Do What We Do?

Spirit tells me that our personal behaviour
either serves us well or it doesn’t. But, if
it does not then it must have served us well
at some time in the past, or at least we
must have believed that it did.

What if it just seemed appropriate at a
particular time?

There are no particular times for specific
behaviours.

Why?

All behaviours have a history.

What about spontaneity?

What about it?

If moving out of the way to avoid an
accident that never happened before, then
how could that reflex action have a history.

How could it not?

Because it never happened before.

To you, perhaps, but you would be aware
of a possible outcome for not moving
out of the way.

Perhaps I intuitively knew.

Yes, and intuition is a built-in history book.

A history of what?

Of how to live.

Why do we do what we do when we do it?

Spirit asks me if I know why I behave the way I do.

When?

At any given time.

That depends.

On what?

On the situation.

Have you designed a specific beahavioral response for any given situation?

I don<t think so.

Then, what?

I respond as seems appropriate, at least for me.

Then different people might respond differently to the same situation?

I guess so.

Why?

Perhaps they have learned different coping strategies.

How?

I suspect you know more about this than I do.

Yes. We each began to develop general coping strategies in early childhood,
in response to personal experience. We learned, through practice and
experiment, what behaviours seemed to serve us well in different
situations. These we added to our tool kit of coping skills. With
use they developed into habits that may no longer serve us as well as
they once did.

Then we need to become more flexible in our response.

Yes, and more aware of what triggers our particular responses.

That would require paying attention to our behaviour.

Yes, with intent to adapt to changing circumstance.

Such as?

Our progress along the path of enlightenment.