Saturday, January 29, 2011

calm down

Scientists are using a new technique for freeing whales snagged in fishing line: Sedatives.

People aren't whales, of course, although the use of downers probably feathers a lot of pharmaceutical-company nests, but the principle strikes me as applicable. Panic, fear, sorrow, worry, thrashing within the conditions that life dishes up ... and the harder anyone fights, the worse the conditions can become. Who hasn't been there, one way or another?

Doctors may be willing to dispense pills that drug companies produce, but that's not what interests me just now. What interests me is the principle of slowing down ... however great or small the problem, it really is necessary to slow down in order to find a solution to what may be an overwhelming helplessness. How can the help necessary assert itself when I am flailing around like a fish on a pier?

It's easier said than done, obviously, but still I think the principle is on target: Slow down and look at it. And keep looking at it. And keep looking at it.

I once heard a pretty good definition of what Buddhists call "suffering." "Suffering is the resistance to pain." No one likes to feel pain and yet pain arises unbidden -- literally and emotionally and intellectually. It's in your face and all over you like fishing lines hog-tying a whale. And sometimes the escape skills of the past simply don't work. Now what?

Well, my guess is that when something is inescapable, the best thing to do is to stop trying to escape.

Just a small thought.

1 comment:

  1. By honoring every experience we validate our reason for being, and then can relate to the suffering in all. And when we do our part to change things the energy goes out, shines out as a light making it possible to see within every darkness of a separate self.