[HE Article] Food For Thought from Eisenstein: Doing VS "Non-Doing"

Jordan Lejuwaan (@jordan) 8 years, 1 month ago

This is the first official blog article discussion!

Read the article here: https://highexistence.com/food-for-thought-eisenstein-doing-vs-nondoing

How do YOU think we should balance inner-work and outward activism?

June 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm
JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

I think we should start a rave clothing company.

Blah (363) (@tentninja) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

out of the box thinking!! i like it! lol

masoninthesis (10) (@masoninthesis) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

I think it’s true that outward activism without deep inner-work can become more of a side-step than a forward-step. Like how the Elephant activism was more of a side-step. Outward activism without a massive conscious shift could just be paddling upstream.

I think the inner-work comes into play with finding where your outward activism is most effective. Homelessness is a problem really close to home for me. I could walk out my door, walk a few blocks in any direction, and find 5-10 homeless people who are hungry and need someone to truly see them as a human being. If I did that every day, I could change hundreds/thousands of people’s lives for the better.

But I could dedicate my life to that and potentially miss the bigger picture. For example, maybe my calling in life was actually to invent a decentralized algorithm for electing laws and government policies that would have changed millions/billions of lives for the better.

Perhaps someone who never did any outward activism their entire life raised a child who went on to change the world.

Extreme examples, but that’s why I don’t think outward activism can be the primary measurement of someone’s value to humanity.

Jonathan Toniolo (486)M (@toniolo) 6 years, 3 months ago ago

Spot on. 

NiqueDaSneak (0) (@NiqueDaSneak) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

I agree what the article said towards the end. The key is to find balance. The last 6 months of my life have really been about the inner-work. But one does reach a tipping point where we want all of the good we feel growing inside us to manifest itself in the physical world. We want to others to feel the change that we feel. So I don’t necesarily think that you have to balance them equally all at once. Rather, you need to understand when it’s time to actually DO something. Whether that is you reacting to certain situations differently or creating something out of nothing. That’s really where I am personally. Trying to actually do more. It just takes the right opportunity to use what you learn while you are doing the inner-work that can make all of the difference.

AboveTheClouds (1) (@Brando) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

“I think we should strive to heal ourselves before we take on the burden healing the world”

I think it’s extremely important to heal ourselves before we may heal our surroundings. We must put on the introspective lens and heal the wounds that we’ve been carry for so long. When we heal internally we also heal externally. In fact, with this approach everything simply flows as opposed to the conventional push and pull. Try applying this to your own life and you’ll find everything coming into equilibrium.

Blah (363) (@tentninja) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

very good point i agree :)

Enrique S (2) (@filix92) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

I think both can be combined. I think the way to change the world is educating the younger generations.

In my opinion, the best way to do ‘mass education’ in short term is educating people on psychedelics, then decriminalizing them, then legalizing them.


MonkeyZazu (1,865)M (@monkeyzazu) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

There’s a time to act, and a time to be still. It’s challenging to know when either time has arrived. In going about combating issues you don’t want to hastefully create more problems than solutions by acting too soon. At the same time some problems become worse as the days pass, forcing you to act on them, and not allowing for the in-depth contemplation that is recommended.

This post reminded me of a scene from an anime that illustrates this topic very well. Feudal time japan where the Japanese were constantly surrounded by bloodshed and death, an apprentice samurai desperately begs his master to let him use the skills he has been taught to help bring about peace:

[Hermit’s wisdom and youthful idealism]

Seijuro – Master
Kenshin – Apprentice

Seijuro: I will not allow you to leave.

Kenshin: But Master! While you interpret philosophies, innocent people are dying down there, day after day! The teachings of Hiten-Mitsurugi are fruitless unless they are used to protect the defenseless! We must go!

Seijuro: Be silent! How do you plan to defend those people with your limited knowledge? Will you choose the less loathsome of the two evil factions in that futile conflict and do its bidding? I do not bestow Hiten-Mitsurugi’s sweetest principles on you so that you can become the pawn of nefarious men. You can change nothing. The troubles of the outside world are perpetual.

Kenshin: And by virtue of that I’m supposed to live in self-ordained ignorance?! I can’t ignore them! They need us master!

Seijuro: When your training is complete, you will be the strongest of swordsmen and your mind will be as strong as your sword.

Kenshin: The peasants who are dying in the group of the Bakufu alliance cannot wait that long. Master, your words are nothing to them!

Seijuro: Going down there you will inevitably brand yourself a murderer. Murder is the only art a swordsman can practice; no ornamental words can change that. You want to protect people with murder? You’ll slaughter legions so that a few may live. Many years, long before you were born, my sword was tearing asunder the lives of men. Yes, those men were evil, but they were human beings first and foremost. Kenshin, the world that you are urgently trying to enter will not know what to do with you. It will deceive you into believing that you are saving lives even as you destroy them. You will accept the lies, all the while your hands will be stained with the worst of offenses.

Kenshin: Perhaps. Even so, my hands will bring relief to people who have learned to live without hope! A human being who feeds on his brother is not a man anymore. He is a mad dog, and should be dealt the same fate.

Seijuro: *begins to walk away*

Kenshin: Master, listen!

Seijuro: It if foolish to listen to one who will not listen to you. Do as you wish. Go to them.

Kenshin: Thank you, master.

Seijuro: *says to himself* I have fed my pupil to the wolves… Soon his mind will be divided into two warring clans, and his pure heart will soon know suffering far beyond his worst nightmares.

Ninad Patil (0) (@Majesticeuphoria) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTrFL4UUy_U – Warning: Contains some answers to your questions.

Live life to the point of tears :D

JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

This was great, thanks.

Brock Prince (0) (@Brock) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

If the inner work is being done, not only sitting in a quiet place with a quiet mind yet following your unlimited forms of ‘meditation’ that life throws at you, becoming a constant unconscious reflection. With being cliche, in each moment, you react exactly how ‘you’ would react. That’s where the better one becomes at ‘not doing’ ultimately makes one become better at doing. Not better in the sense of accomplishment, or lives saved, but improving the clarity of their own reflection and what it mirrors. Strong with purpose of its intentions… So yes, balance was the obvious answer but mixing how much of each element becomes only a temporary choice once you accept that if you are going to meditate on the ‘one-ness’ of everything in the world than you cannot neglect an ‘activist’ type role in existence, unless you wish to neglect yourself. Becoming immersed in your environment, helping it the same way it helps you. And if provoked by passion on a path to pure ness than that loving intention can hold no bounds.

Benjamin Heldt (11) (@heldtbenjamin23) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

Of course, balance in all things is supreme; I think most of us agree with that.

I think that a certain understanding must exist before any outward activism is partook, like @NiqueDaSneak and @monkeyzazu both pointed out. As illustrated in the Elephant example, any outward activism without a deep understanding of how it will be received may be worse than doing nothing and may be also permanent.

This discussion closely resembles my actions as a PCA (personal care assistant.) I work with a 15-year-old boy who lived the first 9 years of his life in abusive foster homes and surviving on the streets in Guatemala city after which he was adopted. Through his early life he developed PTSD and relationship anxiety disorder (where it takes considerable time to trust anyone new, and any interaction that he isn’t used to makes him extremely anxious.) He now lives in the United States with a family that I have come to know very well and speaks fluent english. My job is to socialize him due to the 9 years of normal development that he missed out on. He is still very survival oriented (hoarding and stealing food from the kitchen) and doesn’t understand a lot of social interaction that I would classify as very basic.

When I decided how to treat him, what situations to take him into, how to talk with him in order for him to trust me, essentially how to socialize him, I needed to first understand his various reactions to various situations.

For example, I have achieved a comfortable enough relationship with him in order to identify myself as the one in charge. When I’m with him nothing happens outside of my judgement. Before this, if I were to show up one day and say “Today we’re going to go play basketball at Lifetime.” he would get resentful and most likely wouldn’t cooperate. He loves basketball, but because I phrased it a certain way, he would completely shut down.

Too long didn’t read: Before making outward decisions that may be permanent, one must first understand how these decision will affect said targeted area. Example: I could go give every homeless person I see enough money to get a place to sleep and a few months worth of food (outward activism,) but that doesn’t guarantee that they will spend it on what I intended. I need to understand homeless people (their inner-workings) before I can make that decision.

Jeff (2) (@greatalastor) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

Look deeply and know the reasons behind your actions, then actions become intentional.

Blah (363) (@tentninja) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

You just managed to solve a paradox i got myself stuck in a while back with this one sentence.

Thank you for giving me that freedom even if you did it unintentionally :P or intentionally if you looked deeply and knew the reasons behind why you said what you said of course….

haha :)

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