The reality of the speed of life struck me right away this morning. I glanced at the calendar and noticed we only have a month and a half of 2018 remaining. This type of realizations cause philosophical thoughts to cruise through my monkey mind.
My personality is mostly that of an introvert. This has presented much consternation along with much joy. During my youthful years, I cursed my shy, introverted nature. When I reached 40, introversion began to feel more like a blessing. Now, it is a quality that is treasured.
One of the big problems about introversion is the tendency to over-think. We often interpret common etiquette faux pas as insults. We over-worry over our own social mistakes and how others may interpret our flubs. It takes some doing to let go and let live.
When such a mundane object as a wall calendar triggers deep thoughts about the speed of life, I’m reminded about introversion and philosophy. This is just something else to take in stride. This is another reason to feel joie de vivre. The middle of the penultimate month of the year may or may not be “my day”. Deep down, I know that it is just another day that need not be judged by the arbitrary nature of timekeeping and the calendar.
It took many years not to care what others say of me and think of me. I am who I am, and that’s just the way it is. At the same time, I also realized that most people couldn’t care less about me anyway. On the day I fully understood the truth of these conditions, it felt like a momentous milestone had taken place. The deep philosophical shift changed my point of view. It was OK not to expect anything yet accept everything. Life became more mentally simple.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama often repeats a profound statement in his Dharma talks and replies to the press: “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
On the surface, the Dalai Lama’s simple philosophy is apparent. However, when we scratch below the surface, we discover that he is one of the most profound, wise thinkers on the planet. He is a great repository of the most arcane, powerful Tibetan Buddhist knowledge. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is a highly intelligent man who feels as comfortable conversing with nuclear physicists as he does with average monks and laypersons. Unlike his public lectures. The Dharma talks he gives to monks and nuns are filled with arcane wisdom. His curiosity seems boundless and contagious.
That said, we can take the concept of simple philosophy from the Dalai Lama at face value. The philosophy of kindness provides more than enough substance to base a satisfying life. Such a philosophy is not easily expressed in words. We find it in our personal choices and actions. Those choices and actions are ultimately our own responsibilities.
The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders something from Plato. “There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, until philosophers become kings in this world; or until those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers; and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.”