Name Your Stuff

Was it that our ancestors were struggling to survive through the winter and celebrated the return of the light, that they looked outside of themselves to find something that would give them strength through the dark, cold nights.  It is almost Christmas again.

The thinker or the observer?

Whose thoughts are these?


Have we always been so fearful and repressed from our source that we continue to believe in these abstract things we create outside ourselves, building false dreams for ourselves and our families.  What could possibly explain all the pain and suffering or that some people have good lives; rich, abundant and full of pleasure.  Others suffer through it like a roller coaster going up with anticipation and coming down with the relief of excitement, with a new understanding which releases the fear to a place of knowing what to expect.  Has anyone ever known what to expect? It is always changing and there is never peace in this thing called living.

Like all young people I had hopes and dreams.  I thought I could make a difference and start a new generation where our living had purpose and made sense.  My children grew and began to dream and imagine their own lives full of wonder, joy wealth and success.  Times come and go with all of these wonderful elements and the hope continues that our lives will be good and we will be content.  But the tragedies are only hiding in a dark corner or deep in the closet of our mind.

Do we create our reality?  And why would we create anything but beauty?  And, if there is a loving God why all this suffering?  In the last 50 years everyone wants to be a millionaire.  Then we had a financial run of bliss. Many, many people hit the jack pot, found a way to “make bank,” bought the big house, the fancy care and all the electronics that make our lives easier; still searching for happiness. We had turned the world into a large gambling arena with quick cash and rewards from the stock market.  We sold our souls to the devil for a temporary fix, a temporary satisfaction.

Then the bomb dropped.  This was not the “atom” bomb that has been the topic of fear, one that would kill immediately, but a bomb that would leave people alive to struggle through the muck that had been created, a bomb that destroyed dreams, destroyed families and the love that gives us a reason to live.

If it is all created from imagination, who would create such a disaster?  Why not imagine something whole, something sustainable, something that would bring peace and contentment to the masses.  I don’t want to tell my children, or anyone for that matter, that they cannot achieve their dreams.  what a devastation of the heart it would bring.  I may want to redirect what the vision of a dream would look like and share that vision, for us simple minded people only know what we have recorded in the memory of our hard drive and have a very difficult time seeing anything outside that memory and name of that memory.

Everything is transient.

I Was Once a Radio

A chair is always a chair.  Since we were very young we have been seeing chairs and were told the name of that chair in whatever language we happen to know.  for some simply to learn or rename the chair to the Spanish work “la silla” is difficult.  Some of us can re-make the chair, redesigning it to our own creative speculations and it becomes a new chair, but still a chair.  Everything we had believed to be a chair was a chair or a modified chair.  We are unable to drop the old memory and see beyond, or through, the chair.

This is how it is with everything in our lives, in this universe and our world; we see it, we name it, we believe (or not) it.  Our dreams are based on what we already know, or what we think we already which could be seen and named as ‘opinion.’  It is simply perspective.  When we do not have something it is only because we had established in our minds that something exists, with a name.  Somehow the naming of things makes them even more real to us.  Take money for example: what is money?  Can you eat it?  Can you build a shelter out of it?  Basically it is a symbol.  The only thing we can physically do with money would be to start a fire with it, or wipe our asses with it.  Money is only something we have made a memory of, like a chair.  It is symbolic of some kind of value that someone placed upon it.  Someone named it and we believed them for a very long time.  Now we believe that when we don’t have it we are doomed because everyone everywhere on the planet has made its name more valuable that our “love.” It is what makes us suffer.  The belief is what makes us suffer.  The opinion is what makes us suffer.

I realize we cannot survive without it.  At least not survive in the sense of life in this world of high tech, automobiles, airplanes, etc.  These too are things we have named and believe in the name, the memory.  (There are exceptions:

In reality, humans have survived for a very, very long time and will continue to live on.  It is the “stuff” that changes and the names we give the “stuff” and the importance of our understanding and attachment to the “stuff.”

If I sat on a rock or a log, is it a chair? Does it become a chair or does it remain a rock or a log.  Relationship is the key word.  I am only lacking the chair because of the relationship I have with someone with a chair.  There is an opinion about the chair.  Possibly a false value place on the chair.  so it is with all of creation.

The Dhammapada says in chapter 10:   “The wise man, carefully, moment by moment, one by one, eliminates the stains of his mind, as a silversmith separates the dross for the silver.  (dross n. 1: the scum that forms on the surface of a molten metal  2: wast matter, refuse)  The Dhammapada goes on in chapter 18 titled “Blemishes,” line 11: “Life is not easy to live for a modest man with high values, free from attachment, humble, of right livelihood and clear vision,” and line 16: “However, whoever gives up this habit of finding fault with others offering s will know peace, day and night.”  -more Dhammapada:

The names, the opinions, the comparisons are all the stains of ones mind.  It is a memory, a dream and has no substance and  yet it causes violent wars in ourselves, our lives, and in the world.

When we think of 7 billion human minds creating the world we live in based on all those memories and relationships we realize no one sees it the same way and it feels uneasy, anxious and chaotic.   (Collective unconscious)


About pamelavk

"When you become you, Zen becomes Zen. When you are you, you see things as they are, and you become one with your surroundings."
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