September 1st ~ Most of us have developed intellectual capacities–so-called intellectual capacities, which are not really intellectual capacities at all–we read so many books, filled with what other people have said, their many theories and ideas. We think we are very intellectual if we can quote innumerable books by innumerable authors, if we have read many different varieties of books, and have the capacity to correlate and to explain. But none of us, or very few, have original, intellectual conception. having cultivated the intellect–so-called–every other capacity, every other feeling, has been lost and we have the problem of how to bring about a balance in our lives so as to have not only the highest intellectual capacity and be able to reason objectively, to see things exactly as they are–not to endlessly offer opinions about theories and codes, but to think for ourselves, to see for ourselves very closely the false and the true. And this, it seems to me, is one of our difficulties: the incapacity to see, not only outward things, but also such inward life that one has, if one has any at all.
November 6th, 2019 ~ My older brother Michael passed way 11 years ago today. We visited his bench at the park near the house we grew up, a house I still live with my aging parents. In the dormitory where we slept, we had bunk beds. I mentioned this to the Walgreen’s cashier, about my brother’s passing. She shared the loss of how her Grandmother died and how it kind of tore the family apart. What I wanted to say earlier to my Sister and Mother and nephew at the bench was: “Eleven years ago to this week, I was on this very grass calling a mentor of mine and thinking I couldn’t handle this on my own. Yet, when we get through it, we realize we can. We fear it happening again. But it is not new. It is not unknown. It is Known. We Fear the Known. We don’t fear the Unknown because we can’t fear what we don’t know. Is there anything we can think of that we don’t really know how it is going to feel? Fear? Shame? Anger? Greed? Grief? Rage? Sadness? Anxiety? We know all these, don’t we? We have experienced some form of each of them. It is our reaction, thought, to them where we resist or attach which gets us into trouble. It is our intellect that gets us into trouble. No wonder the “I” is so pronounced in us. We expect young people to do so well in school and encourage and literally force to begin to talk about themselves. To strengthen that sense of me at a time we don’t even remember. It is already developed by the time we even begin to remember as adults. i.e. We don’t remember a time when our “I” wasn’t developed. Our intellect is so strong, we think too much and are not in touch with our feelings. As Steve Hagen writes in “Buddhism Is Not What You Think”: We can’t utilize our ability for direct experience, which is something we do when we are born. That is all we can go on. We lose this ability. Why? He says: “We Think Too Much!”