Morning Trip (276)

“If integrate means ‘to make whole,’ then its opposite is to fracture, disown, disjoin, detach, unravel, or separate. I think many of us move through the world feeling this way. The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness–even our wholeheartedness–actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”
–Brene Brown

Morning Trip (267)

“Hiking
Whenever possible I avoid the practice myself. If God meant us to walk, he would have kept us down on all fours, with well-padded paws. He would have constructed our planet on the model of the simple cube, so that notion of circularity and consequently the wheel might never have arisen. He surely would not have made mountains.

There is something unnatural about walking. Especially walking uphill, which always seems to me not only unnatural but so unnecessary. That iron tug of gravitation should be all the reminder we need that in walking uphill we are violating a basic law of nature. Yet we persist in doing it. No one can explain why George H. Mallory’s asinine rationale for climbing a mountain–‘because it is there’–could easily be refuted with a few well-places hydrogen bombs. But our common sense continues to lag far behind the available technology.

There are some good things to say about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus, it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and therefore more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once, is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me. That’s God’s job, not ours.

The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. That’s the best thing about walking, the journey itself. It doesn’t matter whether you get where you’re going or not. You get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home. Right where you started.

Which reminds me of circles. Which reminds me of wheels. Which reminds me my old truck needs another front-end job. Any good mechanics out there wandering along through the smog?”
–Edward Abbey

Morning Trip (266)

“We make life difficult when we try to sacrifice ourselves for somebody else. Surely, you are not here to sacrifice yourself for anybody. You are not here to satisfy other people’s opinions or point of view. In the dream of second attention, one of the first challenges is the fear of being yourself–your real self. If you have the courage to face this challenge, you find out that all the reason you were afraid don’t even exist. Then you find out that it’s much easier to be yourself than to try to be what you are not.”
–Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz with Janet Mills

Daily Reading: Remembering Our Choice

“It’s easy to blame, the media, our culture, or our community for perpetuating unrealistic images of what it expects of us. But at the very core of these expectations, there is no one to blame; because a commercial, like self-judgement, has no power over us unless we agree with its message. It is only when we willingly attach ourselves to these images and distortions that our happiness is compromised.

We do not need to take the blame for these self-judgements. We can simply become aware that they have been developing in our lives since childhood through the process of domestication.

Once we are aware of our self-judgements, we can regain our freedom by choosing for ourselves to transcend the reward and punishment model that has been imposed upon us and eventually arrive at a place of self-acceptance. We have a choice. That is our power.

Practice: How many of your ideas and beliefs about the world and yourself are results of domestication and outside influence? Do you assume things should be or look a certain way because that’s what you’ve seen on TV or in your community, and it seems normal? With awareness question those assumptions today. Ask yourself if things might be otherwise and if you could be happy without these rigid ideals of perfection.”

Taken from: Living a Life of AWARENESS Daily Meditations on the TOLTEC Path by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. ISBN: 9781938289231

Quote from–H.L. Mencken on Reclaiming Democracy from the Mob Mentality That Masquerades for It

“He writes:

‘The weakness of those of us who take a gaudy satisfaction in our ideas, and battle for them violently, and face punishment for them willingly and even proudly, is that we forget the primary business of the man in politics, which is the snatching and safeguarding of his job. That business, it must be plain, concerns itself only occasionally with the defense and propagation of ideas, and even then it must confine itself to those that, to a reflective man, must usually appear to be insane. The first and last aim of the politician is to get votes, and the safest of all ways to get votes is to appear to the plain man to be a plain man like himself, which is to say, to appear to him to be happily free from any heretical treason to the body of accepted platitudes — to be filled to the brim with the flabby, banal, childish notions that challenge no prejudice and lay no burden of examination upon the mind.

[…]

It seems to me that this fear of ideas is a peculiarly democratic phenomenon, and that it is nowhere so horribly apparent as in the United States, perhaps the nearest approach to an actual democracy yet seen in the world. It was Americans who invented the curious doctrine that there is a body of doctrine in every department of thought that every good citizen is in duty bound to accept and cherish; it was Americans who invented the right-thinker. The fundamental concept, of course, was not original. The theologians embraced it centuries ago, and continue to embrace it to this day. It appeared on the political side in the Middle Ages, and survived in Russia into our time. But it is only in the United States that it has been extended to all departments of thought. It is only here that any novel idea, in any field of human relations, carries with it a burden of obnoxiousness, and is instantly challenged as mysteriously immoral by the great masses of right-thinking men. It is only here, so far as I have been able to make out, that there is a right way and a wrong way to think about the beverages one drinks with one’s meals, and the way children ought to be taught in the schools, and the manner in which foreign alliances should be negotiated, and what ought to be done about the Bolsheviki.'”
–H.L. Mencken

Please view the entire article here: H.L. Mencken on Reclaiming Democracy from the Mob Mentality That Masquerades for It
by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings