Three simple answers

Alec wrote:

I know there are no simple answers to the most difficult questions of life.

I’m not so sure about that. How about:

  1. Look at things from the other person’s point of view.
  2. Be conscious.
  3. Yearn to know yourself.

3 thoughts to “Three simple answers”

  1. That about says it all, Freddie. Maybe add, “Love others as you own self.”, because when we experience ourselves and others as one being, but without love, there an unsatisfactory emptiness that seems spacious and all encompassing but can also be very flat and lifeless.

    1. I think these three instructions are intended to lead a person to the state where they love others as their own self.

      The three answers are practical advice, a path, for loving others as one’s self.

      “Look at things from the other person’s point of view” was, I believe, included in the list of answers for that reason. It’s a seed that when watered and fertilized with the other two answers, grows into loving others as one’s self.

      If on the other hand you tell somebody directly, in so many words, “Love others as your own self,” they don’t know how to do it. It seems like an impossible instruction. People don’t have voluntary control over who they love and many people don’t feel very much love. We can see the result of this in Christianity. Jesus tells people to love others as they love themselves. How do people react to this instruction? For the most part they believe that Jesus was describing a divine ideal of behavior, not behavior that ordinary people can achieve. They believe that only Jesus can love other people this way. Therefore they believe that they are miserable sinners in continual need of forgiveness from God. Instead of taking the instruction as something that they enact in their lives, people take it as measuring rod against which they are supposed to fail.

      To avoid that problem my post tells people to put themselves in other people’s shoes. That’s hard too but almost everybody can do it a little bit sometimes. Ditto for being conscious and trying to see who you are. Everybody can do that a little right from the start. They have a degree of voluntary control over those things.

      What seems to be going on with this blog is that everything’s getting translated as much as possible into practical instructions. I didn’t plan that consciously. I only realized it now. I didn’t think about these answers when I wrote them. They just popped into my head when I read Alec’s sentence.

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