Monday, November 08, 2004

Generalisations Obscure the Truth

Hmm ... that was a real tough weekend! So many challenges to rise to, so much energy expended keeping everything going and everything together ... I'm now ready for a rest at work!

But lying there reflecting on the weekend last night, it really struck me how easy it is to miss what actually is, and buy into what we think is. The pervasive impression of the weekend was its toughness and difficulty. Difficult people, difficult situations, difficult decisions. So how easy it is to buy into an idea of the weekend ... an idea which is a generalised ... wow it was tough. But in and amongst all that difficulty were a host of lighter moments, delightful episodes, and periods of relaxation and peace.

If I just hang on to the generalised idea, then my weekend was *difficult*. And it's as if those other things never happened, buried as they are under the shadow of the generalised idea. Only through refusing to listen to the idea or view which tries to monopolise the attention, and seeks to effectively rewrite history, and allowing myself to bring to attention the myriad little moments which were exceptions to that generalisation .... only them am I able to clearly see the variety of experience at that time, and therefore see the impermanence of things, and see how these generalised thought falsify what is.

Generalising from this! .... it's easy to see how one can take a view of a particular government, for example, and allow that particular view or thought to obscure the myriad aspects which contradict that particular view. So Bush is bad/evil, to use a common current example ... which replaces the complexibility of what is, which a simple generalised idea which isn't really what is at all, in all its complexity, variability and subtlety.

Not buying in the big generalisation .. the big thought ... the big lie, and allowing the variety of things to surface .... then I can stay in touch which those things which affirm, and those things which are conducive to realisation ... even when their relatively quiet voices are easily shouted down by the demands of the big thought.


Al said...

Right - It's that the culture supports this kind of "news bite" type of response.

"How was the weekend?"
"We drank a case of Corona's - Great!"

Sometimes I think it should be more like:

"How was the weekend?"
"Pardon, which moment might you be referring to?"

Chodpa said...

that made me laugh out loud!

I know it's a little bit of a cliche .. at least it is amongst some of my old Buddhist friends, but it seems to me that the hardest question I ever get asked is "how are you" .... sometimes I am entirely stumped as to what to say! There is so much, so many angles, so much variety in experience, and levels of looking at it ... how on earth do you sum up a week of experience, and what you are working with and on with a few words? I know the other person is not necessarily looking for a life story ... and may sometimes just be polite in asking .... bit its often led me to pause and wonder .... how do you sum up a life .... at this moment in time?????

thanks again for your comment