It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Thank you all for these extremely helpful and valuable insights. As I continue to practice, I will keep in mind what I have read (and watched!) here.
I get the sense that I may not fully grok your meaning, @genkaku, but if I refrained from entering any conversation where I harbored such doubts, then I might as well take a vow of silence. Come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea. Anywho...
I recall a deep longing for understanding, to know, since my earliest years. I was brought up in a conservative small town in Texas where Southern Baptists held sway. While my family didn't actively participate in the church, Christian ideology was pervasive. Until I was around twelve, I accepted it without question.
That's when things started breaking down. I couldn't help but to see inherent flaws and contradictions, not to mention outright hypocrisy, in the religion as it was practiced around me. Things came to a head when I began to become aware that my sexual orientation was not in line with the statistical mainstream. It was a stressful time for me. I developed severe psychological problems (and an ulcer) as a result of this internal conflict. I was obliged by circumstance to deconstruct my programmed belief system and cobble together something in its place. I kept certain parts and discarded others.
This curation left a hole, a most palpable and discernible lacking, which I equate with your "yearning for God." I've been seeking ever since. I came to a realization of no-self in a bout of severe depression a couple of years ago when I spent five months turned entirely inward, socially isolated from other human beings save for one person that I texted but have never met in person. The realization was not a positive experience -- it felt almost like psychosis, and maybe it was -- and I reeled. The ego forcefully reasserted itself over the next couple of months.
That hole, that yearning, is still there. Lately, though, I've wondered whether it's a yearning for God -- whatever that is -- or whether it's a yearning for an identifiable self.
when I walk in nature
and the music swells in crescendo,
a wildfire catches in my heart
with a thunderous roar,
giant and all consuming.
And then I become airtight.
The flames recede in diminuendo.
I breathe. I release;
and the fire is gone.
It would be such a shame
to disturb the birds.
Putting all political observation aside, I credit the Trump phenomenon with making me realize that I had been engaging in the following unskillful behaviors:
1) Spending too much time consuming "news," which prevents me from thinking.
2) Focusing my energy and attention on distant events over which I had no control and whose direct impact on my life and of those I cared for I greatly overestimated. The term "idiot compassion," which I encountered on this forum, seems analogous. Maybe "idiot focus" would make sense, i.e., trying to develop an understanding of the whole world while failing to observe my immediate surroundings.
I've pulled away from social media altogether, and I've nearly broken myself of the habit of checking the news many times throughout the day. I find that news of important events finds its way to me regardless, and by all observable measures, I am just as informed now as I was before. My blood pressure is about ten points lower, though.
So thanks for that, Mr. Trump.