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The Search for Peace

Quagmire

Imaginary talking monkey
Staff member
Premium Member
I just got done watching all three seasons of a program called the Chosen about Jesus Christ/Jesus of Nazareth/the character Jesus from the Gospels (take your pick) and for the most part I didn't find their particular depiction of Jesus very compelling (seems like a nice guy, he's definitely somebody I would want to hang out with in real life, but the air of mystery or otherworldliness that I expect from depictions of the character are lacking) but the character does have one quality that stood out for me: he doesn't react to anything that anyone does.

What I mean is, his actions are his own. He does what he's going to do regardless of what anyone around him is doing. And he does it all in exactly the way that he intended too, not as a response to anyone else's intention or attitudes.

He responds to ridicule and praise in exactly the same way. He approaches danger and celebration with exactly the same demeanor.

To me, this is all the very definition of being self-possessed. Of being your own person.

Nothing anyone does or says is going to affect the way he sees himself. He is who he is regardless.

There must be an incredible amount of peace in that. Knowing that who you are and how you feel is in no way dependant on what's going on around you.

To be completely immune to letting the world tell you who you are
 

Quagmire

Imaginary talking monkey
Staff member
Premium Member
It's a quality I've always admired in other people, although I never bothered to try to analyze any of it this deeply before.

There are a few people in RF that I consider to have this quality in varying degrees, and I've often found myself reading their posts and wishing I could be more like them myself, and to be honest I'm not sure if admiration or envy is the dominant emotion involved at those moments. :p
 

sun rise

The world is on fire
Premium Member
the air of mystery or otherworldliness that I expect from depictions of the character are lacking
As a follower of Meher Baba who met his close disciples and with my association with other spiritual figures, I found no sense of mystery or otherworldliness in any of them or the stories they told. What I've experienced is that they are perfectly human and very different from each other but don't carry a burden of egotistical crap.

To be completely immune to letting the world tell you who you are

I've been working on that for decades. Meher Baba's "song of the new life" is about the goal and for me the challenges involved and includes these goals. Every time I read this, I'm reminded of how far I have to go:

We neither wail over lost hopes, nor complain about broken promises;
We neither covet honor, nor shun disgrace;
Backbiting we know not, nor do we fear anyone;
This is now the tenor of our New Life.
...
This world or the next, hell or heaven, we are no longer concerned with.
Shaktis and siddhis (psychic powers) occultism and miracles we are no longer plagued with.
All these false impressions have been purged from the mind.
What has value and importance for us now is to live in the active present.
...
"Even if the heavens fall,
Do not let go the Hand of Truth;
Let despair and disappointment ravage and destroy the garden of your life,
Beautify it once again by the seedlings of contentment and self-sufficiency.
 

mangalavara

सो ऽहम्
Premium Member
He responds to ridicule and praise in exactly the same way. He approaches danger and celebration with exactly the same demeanor.

This is how yogis (devotees being one type of them) are described in the Bhagavad Gītā.

What I mean is, his actions are his own. He does what he's going to do regardless of what anyone around him is doing. And he does it all in exactly the way that he intended too, not as a response to anyone else's intention or attitudes.

I like that. There is a higher standard than the attitudes or desires of the human beings around oneself.

To me, this is all the very definition of being self-possessed. Of being your own person.

That’s one way of looking at it. From my perspective, they are the qualities of an individual who is probably Self-realized, that is, one who has truly known the eternal Self within oneself. This ‘Self’ is the Ātman of Vedānta philosophy.

Nothing anyone does or says is going to affect the way he sees himself. He is who he is regardless.

He sounds enlightened.

There must be an incredible amount of peace in that. Knowing that who you are and how you feel is in no way dependant on what's going on around you.

To be completely immune to letting the world tell you who you are

This state comes with much peace. It may also come with an ‘aristocratic’ air. Not in a bad way. A good example of it is Swami Vivekananda. I heard that when he walked in public, he walked like someone who owned the entire world yet did not desire anything from it. Similarly, the Buddha was a man who was greater than even the devas in Heaven. Lastly, in one of the canonical gospels, when the guards came searching for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, they asked if he was Jesus, and when he replied ‘I am he,’ they all fell back. Such an individual has profound peace, and he or she may even seem like an aristocrat: a truly distinguished person who is one of the best persons in their society.

It's a quality I've always admired in other people, although I never bothered to try to analyze any of it this deeply before.

There are people who admire that quality in others, and there are also people who don’t like it in others. People who are far from enlightened and not dispassionate and not unattached to the things of this world may not like that quality in you because they cannot make you see things their way and cooperate in their agendas.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
I just got done watching all three seasons of a program called the Chosen about Jesus Christ/Jesus of Nazareth/the character Jesus from the Gospels (take your pick) and for the most part I didn't find their particular depiction of Jesus very compelling (seems like a nice guy, he's definitely somebody I would want to hang out with in real life, but the air of mystery or otherworldliness that I expect from depictions of the character are lacking) but the character does have one quality that stood out for me: he doesn't react to anything that anyone does.

What I mean is, his actions are his own. He does what he's going to do regardless of what anyone around him is doing. And he does it all in exactly the way that he intended too, not as a response to anyone else's intention or attitudes.

He responds to ridicule and praise in exactly the same way. He approaches danger and celebration with exactly the same demeanor.

To me, this is all the very definition of being self-possessed. Of being your own person.

Nothing anyone does or says is going to affect the way he sees himself. He is who he is regardless.

There must be an incredible amount of peace in that. Knowing that who you are and how you feel is in no way dependant on what's going on around you.

To be completely immune to letting the world tell you who you are
My tired brain processed, "ah, he's a Buddhist!"

This reminds me of the last line of the 5 Remembrances: My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequence of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
 
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