Empty your cup

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by Deborah, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

    Apr 9, 1997
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    CA - USA
    I REALLY really like this - ENJOY and I for one will be taking it all in.:)

    Melissa Chu
    I write about living better, creating great work, and making an impact. Get your guide to achieving your goals at http://jumpstartyourdreamlife.com/welcome.
    Angie Brown and Ritter like this.
  2. Ritter

    Ritter Banned by Moderators

    Nov 9, 2018
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    Northern Europe
    As a zen practicioner and long-time budo enthusiast, I fundamentally agree. This is a very important piece of my world view. Not to say that one should never ever have a firm stance or that all stances are equal. One gets to have a strong opinion when it is logically unassailable, after having examined everything relevant, and only as long as it holds water. If it gets shot out of the water, it cannot remain and must be replaced with truth. To have looked at everything within reason and based an opinion on a firm foundation is what this emptying of the glass enables. One gets there by detaching and looking at the facts. Ignorant or dumb people have opinions, too. But they never do this. They take what they are served in school or on TV and then parrot it without analysis or comparison. This is pretty much why I do not believe in any form of mob rule.

    It is important to detach from held beliefs and things you think you know, and begin with the foundational ideas and basics of whatever you are examining. One should not be in a hurry and one should give the subject matter complete attention. This is especially important when encountering something new, to not just dismiss it out of hand. Only once the whole has been seen and grasped can it be fully understood and judged. There are things to learn from all people and all ideas. It is no secret that I really detest communism, for example, yet I practiced this, threw out what I thought I knew and actually went ahead to read quite a bit of Marx and Lenin. I even went on to read Che Guevara's book about guerilla warfare. Not entirely bad. I could not make much sense of Mao Tsetung's little red book. Many of his quotes are quite silly to a westerner. Whereas before, I disliked or even hated something that I did not properly know, I can now say honestly that I do not see their theories as true to reality or desirable in their goals. Ignorant people often say that "communism is a great idea, but impossible in practice". I can guarantee they never read Marx's book "Das Kapital" and really reflected on its contents. It is based on Materialism, which is an inferior explanation model of the world, which is far more complex, wondrous and individual than such a theory allows. Just an example. I always take on new challenges like that. I have even examined David Icke's very odd ideas about us being ruled by space lizards. I have watched his videos for hours on end trying to understand what he is seeing and why. I do agree with him on many things and I believe that he believes in what he says. I still don't get why it has to be lizards, however. Similarly, I used to think the "Unabomber", Dr. Theodore Kaczynski, was a complete maniac, until I read his book, which in my opinion was quite sane, factual and spot-on in its problem definitions, conclusions and solutions in regards to the environment and the modern world. I do understand why most people would find him "wrong" or scary, but I found myself unexpectedly agreeing. The man is obviously very intelligent.

    The same could be said for many things. I am prone to strong opinions and defending those views, but I always discard pieces of my world view puzzle which prove to be wrong or inferior compared to a newly acquired piece of the puzzle, which fits better into what I know to be true. Sometimes I have had to replace large chunks of my foundation, like my Left leanings in regards to economy, which got destroyed utterly after reading Ludwig von Mises, and my atheism which was knocked out of me completely at age 17. I am sometimes wrong, and then I make a habit of letting my 'opponent' - should there be one - know publicly in front of others that he or she was right, and that I was wrong. I really do not like intellectual dishonesty and when people 'have to win' at all costs for their ego, despite being dead wrong about the facts or when they use flawed logic, or build something on a shaky or false foundation. I used to be like that. It is why it is important to give credit where credit is due and own up to what is true or not. Not everything is an opinion, truth is truth and fact is fact. I think I owe this to my mother, she is like this. I had an ideological argument with my brother for something like ten years up until relatively recently. I had examined both sides, he had examined only his own, for a long time. It continued standing firm until he finally examined my point of view from the roots and on up, like I had examined his, and finally he surprised me greatly by owning up to it. He apologized. Ten years of trench warfare, and then he basically said I have been right all along and we put it behind us. It is a quality which is rare to find in others, but one I prize very highly. Because I value honesty and truthfulness so much in others, I strive to not say things that I do not know to be true and to defeat the ego and own up to it when I have been wrong in point, fact or action. The emptying of the glass is an important component of growing. Likewise, it is really important to stop every once in a while and critically examine yourself and whether you are who you want to be and heading towards where you should be going.

    The hardest thing I have ever did in this regard is to apologize to my father for being a pain for many years. I did not understand why he was harsh with his words so many times and I even hated him for years. Only now as an adult do I understand why he did and said all the things he did. What he gave me with a real upbringing, contrary to the curling that most receive, was discipline, strength of character, physical fortitude, morals, self-reliance, a thousand different useful skills, a sense of duty and all that stuff which is essentially lost to the majority in this century, but which defines him as a man, and how he as a father intended for me to be, and succeeded. So I finally apologized profoundly and thanked him deeply for his tireless and great work. He is still happy about that to this day, and it made him cry. You don't see that every day, exactly. Now we have the best relationship ever, as adults. I am happy that I realized it long before he dies. It was actually the bible (another challenge!) that made me reflect on his methods of upbringing. The realization of my own ungratefulness and error hit me like a sledgehammer. But it helped me grow, too. And it has enabled greater harmony in my family. I could go on forever. But it is very important to detach and analyze, and to challenge your beliefs continually. Growth is not possible otherwise.
    SeaAndSky and KenJ like this.

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