Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear Internet,

So says Pema Chodron, in When Things Fall Apart: 
"Opinions are opinions, nothing more or less. We can begin to notice them, and we can being to label them as opinion, just as we label thoughts as thoughts. Just by this simple exercise we are introduced to the notion of egolessness. All ego really is, is our opinions, which we take to be solid, real, and the absolute truth about how things are. 
To have even a few seconds of doubt about the solidity and absolute truth of our own opinions, just to begin to see that we have opinions, introduces us to the possibility of egolessness. We don't have to make these opinions go away, and we don't have to criticize ourselves for having them. We could just notice what we say to ourselves and see how much of it is just our particular take on reality which may or may not be shared by other people.
It's up to us to sort out what is opinion and what is fact; then we can see intelligently. The more clearly we can see, the more powerful our speech and our actions will be. The less our speech and actions are clouded by opinion, the more they will communicate...."
From a spiritual standpoint, I would refer to myself as an agnostic, non-dogmatic Buddhist-leaning person. And, the above quote is a pretty good example as to why that it is, for me.

Here, notice how Chodron isn't telling us what The Truth is for All People Everywhere. In fact, she (and this spiritual leader is a woman, imagine that!) advises that we notice how we think, that we observe reality, and that we figure things out for ourselves.

Neither is her advice a commandment issued from upon high. It's a suggestion, and it's one in which she doesn't claim that something Very Bad will happen to us in our eternal afterlife if we do not heed it.

In encouraging free thought and questioning, Chodron's writing is devoid of the insecurity, the lack of trust in humanity, that mars so many religions, especially those of the fundamentalist type.

Welp, anyway, your regularly-scheduled opinion-sharing will resume tomorrow, here in Fannie's Room.

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