A reader/listener posted this response to my last article and I liked it well enough to post it for all to read:
Enjoyed your little piece on the mind of winter. I am current enthralled by a little gem by Eckhart Tolle called “Stillness Speaks” in which the NOW of being is distinguished from the thoughts we have about being. These thoughts usually revolve around fears or desires from the past or in the future, all illusions which remove us from the (Zen of) NOW,… of sitting here at the library in wet pants (from cycling in the rain), with the various odors of my fellow humanity wafting in the air, a low hush of voices respectfully communing in a sacred space and great appreciation of the gift of opportunity this place affords!
I was also born into a dance with a very troubled and abandoned Mom and I also developed the power of thinking my way out of the suffering, a form of escape that strengthens my illusive reductive, logical, scientific ego and obstructs the moment, the NOW. This is the personal analog to the Freudian concept of religion as mass hysteria (ie living for some future
heaven rather than facing the truth of being as it is NOW, living in the simplistic duality of good and evil, of them and us…), or, as Nelson Muntz, the bully on “The Simpsons” says: “Some of us prefer illusion to despair.” I would say that most of us prefer illusion to despair. This is also the teaching
of Chuang Tzu, a contemporary of Lao Tzu and comparable teacher of “what is;” ie. that the herd of humanity will always be this blindly driven herd; to
be awake is to sit aside the herd and be awake in the present without illusion and try not to get trampled!
My best to you and your family as we descend into the time of slowing, cooling, reflection, sleep, hibernation….my favorite season next to Fall, Spring and Summer!
– Mike Feder (New York City – December 7, 2004)