Can anyone help?   Who said ‘There are two ways of being unhappy: not getting what you want, and getting what you want’?   I heard it recently on a dvd of an Eckhard Tolle talk but I’m not sure it was his own.

Came across this from Freud the other day: ‘The consequences of our actions tend to reveal our motives’.

Re meditation the Sanskrit word ‘sunyata’ is usually translated as ‘emptiness’ – the calm state of being free of thought.   I’ve always preferred to translate it as ‘fullness’ because there’s no room for anything else.   I was delighted the other day to find my view echoed by Osho:

‘Meditation simply means becoming empty of all the contents of mind: memory, imagination, thoughts, desires, expectations, projections, moods.   One has to go on emptying oneself of all the content.   The greatest day in life is when you cannot find anything to throw out – when there is only pure emptiness.   In that emptiness you find your pure consciousness.

That emptiness is empty only so far as mind is concerned, otherwise it is overflowing, overfull.   It is full of being – empty of mind but full of consciousness.   So don’t be afraid of the word ‘empty’, it is not negative.   It negates only the unnecessary luggage which is of no use and which you are carrying just from old habit, which does not help but only hinders, which is just a weight, a mountainous weight.

Once it is removed you are free from all boundaries, you become as infinite as the sky.   That experience is the experience of god or buddhahood or whatever word one likes.   Call it dharma, call it tao, call it truth, call it nirvana – they all mean the same thing’.


   Bob is still a friend (I think) from school days. He took exception to my anti-smoking cards:

‘I must say you do live dangerously if prepared to challenge illicit smokers with either the ‘poisoner’ remark or the red card, which could just as easily turn into a red rag.   I know, of course, that these people shouldn’t be smoking in non-smoking areas, but the wretches have often been driven to flout regulations by vindictive and self-righteous authorities that try to deny them anywhere to smoke at all.   It rather worries me when relatively liberal, and indeed libertarian, people expose their Achilles’ heel and join in the persecution of such miserable minorities.   But ‘Poisoner’?   Come on, John, come on.   You say in ‘Life and Soul’ that you enjoy travel and your trips (sic) to India.   You presumably fly there and do so thanks to Boeing or Airbus, whose planes emit vast amounts of carbon and other poisons, as well as using up huge reserves of fossil fuels.   Do you really believe that the sniveller with his fag in the bus station is polluting anyone but himself?   That the smallest passing whiff of his smoke will even remotely impair the health of you or anyone else who is not smoking?

But let’s suppose for a moment that it wasn’t that mean-faced sniveller to whom you handed your card, but an office worker having a well-earned drag by the firm’s loading bay, the sort of ‘guy’ who wouldn’t take a violent view of either its colour or message. Could he not reasonably say ‘Oh, but smoking is a pleasure, actually.   No, I really enjoy it.   Not an itch at all, any more than any pleasure from physical things can be described as an itch.   Is that the way you’re affected by such things, old chap?   Oh, I do hope not.   You say ‘con’.   I’m sorry, but who is supposed to be conning whom? I’m in full possession of my faculties – I know the risks. They’re shouted from every hoarding, every loudspeaker, from this very packet – how could I avoid them?   No, I find the odd smoke calms me – I can’t think of anything better.   Besides, if I may say so, what business is it of yours what I do?   I’m not smoking in your house or blowing smoke in your face’’.

Bob adds:

Apart from the occasional cigar when out in the open and downwind of company, I am not a smoker myself’.


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