Questions from a reader of my book: Many thanks for your response and answer to my questions. You sound like you have found a path to a truly meaningful way of life, which in some small way I envy! In recent months I have lost my way a little, and at 45 years old I am feeling the ‘age’ thing! The consequence of that is reviewing my situation and me being me and being rather critical, have found some wanting… But! Having said that my craft of music writing is working at it’s best and is very fulfilling, and my marriage is wonderful so I do know that all is well!
I am though continuing to explore life and its meaning, even though I am slightly off my best at the moment, and its great to connect with someone like you who is traveling on what appears to be a path found through a long process of a lifetime experiences.
My next question is, how do you see humanity at this moment on our path of evolution? Do you see we have a brighter future and a chance to evolve into something ‘better,’ or are we doomed through our own stupidity? And what reasons do you have for either?
Response: It is a pleasure to answer your inquiry. Yes (humbly and respectfully), life is very good – a truly splendid thing. Nothing is perfect on this Earth, albeit I believe that is among the greatest of blessings, i.e., there is always room for improvement, greater and greater levels of healthful objective insight and its practical applications. You are likely at a wonderful turning point in your life, a new era, and speaking humbly and respectfully from what I know of you, it clearly seems like you are quite capable of working through such trials. This is NOT to say that you are doing anything wrong, it is just that there is always the wonderful option of learning to better and better embrace the quintessential blessings which we enjoy. It is a deeper and deeper True Appreciation/gratitude for each moment, each day. Chronological age 45, can be biological age 25, with true effort…lovingly embracing it, making it so.
We all have our weaknesses, but these weaknesses/mistakes are among the most splendid of blessings with which to learn what we need to learn (as long as we don’t keep making the same mistakes for a lifetime). Strange to our culture, the concept that there are skills which can take decades, if not a lifetime to even begin to be good at, is a significant concept that if embraced, can do us SO much good. There are magical things (not parlor tricks) going on inside us and all around us, all of the time (which most are not trained to appreciate or simply don’t care) We CAN learn to better and better gather an abiding sense of benevolent True Appreciation thereof. It may be the difference between thriving, versus just surviving by the ‘skin of our teeth.’ It is the difference between Witnessing and taking part in the living loving story of our lives, versus just being a pawn in the story of our lives. We are all so much in the same boat in this, and we CAN learn to better and better avoid being stuck ongoingly on stagnant crepuscular plateaus which can be like a living death. This is NOT in an unhealthful spirit of sounding harsh – it just is what it is. We can learn to be less and less selfish, and thus ‘rocking the boat’ less and less.
No doubt the music industry can be very tough, but the ‘key’ is in knowing that you WILL succeed in your splendid art as long as you keep working at it until it works…and BEYOND your success. Of course I’m not an industry expert, but I believe that most things (especially arts and science) work in that fashion.
With regard to your question about the status of humanity, I believe that there has been broad improvement, most particularly in the West, and somewhat the Far East. It may not seem that way with everything going on, but more and more people ARE embracing greater levels of fairness and insight. That said, I am NOT implying by that, that humankind has evolved to some higher level…most certainly NOT. I believe that we may be moving toward a point, a brink so-to-speak, but I certainly don’t have absolute faith that we will get there…and beyond. I believe we CAN, but I certainly don’t know that we will. Compared to decades or hundreds of years back (and beyond), I believe things have improved in much of the world…but there is so very far yet to go – much further yet than we have so far reached. That said, my spirit is not really so negative sounding, I have a loving faith that humankind will truly evolve to higher healthful levels of objective insight and practical application of this objective insight.
Consistent with the loving and altruistic ages-old philosophy that I teach, coach, and endeavor to follow, the ONLY way humankind will ever evolve to a higher healthful level is if at least a slight majority learns to take True Responsibility for their own health and well-being. This is a truly loving and humble philosophy – it sets forth that we are all much more in the Same Boat than we so-often think and act. It sets forth that (as just one particular example for instance), until 51% of the human race (women) are allowed to take their place as complete equals, we will never evolve. And this is something that cannot rationally be argued against, i.e., it has never occurred, and until it does, we cannot know for certain.
With regard to you and your own personal (healthful) evolution, and (congruently therefore) you yourself consequently realizing True Happiness, please realize that a True Gauge of True Health is: Are my thoughts/actions making the world a better place? Are my thoughts/actions consistent with endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake…without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas? This IS in the so-splendid spirit of True Health through True Responsibility. PLEASE lovingly, selflessly embrace what Ghandi said, i.e., “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Each of us has the power to selflessly make the world a better place and there is NOTHING more important and powerful. PLEASE keep this in mind when you are feeling down and/or disheartened about the state-of-affairs in the world. There are likely no better/more healthful perspectives which you can employ in order to pull yourself out of the ‘blues,’ or out of a rut.
We have an old tai chi chuan/chi kung technique, i.e., coined “Rise to Land & Ride the Tiger.” Its loving and splendid analogy is as such: “You’ve been feeling down, been feeling blue…and so tired of it, you pull yourself back up to land level (stepping mindfully/appreciatively up out of the nasty morbid muck)…feeling so ‘tickled’ about it, that you’re feeling a bit edgy (oh boy!), and ‘ride the tiger.’ Be careful to stand straight/ride the tiger mindfully, or you may fall off…and we all know what happens if we ride too heavily (not selflessly).”
In ideal harmony with this, we have another old tai chi chuan/chi kung technique, i.e., coined Opening the Door’ aka Raise Wings & Press. Its deeply benevolent analogy goes as follows: “If there is a Heaven, a ‘key to the universe,’ they are rooted in True Honesty, promoting of True Happiness and True Freedom…but MOST importantly, needing less and less to hide behind.” From my hopefully humble perspective, any group of beings (in this case, us) who could realize such beautiful, loving, and so deeply healthful objective insight, all-but-HAS to evolve to higher and higher so-healthful levels of being. — Dr. Glen Hepker
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Beautiful post to a sincere inquiry