"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." Dalai Lama

Issue 14 Editorial

by Anthea Torr

FILED IN: Editorials · Issue 14

“Live simply, so that others can simply live…”
It seems that this saying has never been more applicable than now, as global warming threatens our existence on planet earth and even more so the lives of our children.

We have just been through the traditional year-end ‘Christmas’ holidays and from what I observed this year it didn’t appear to be any different to the usual.

Cape Town filled up and so did the shops. Full to bursting with ‘things’ and people, mostly things that people probably didn’t need but because it is the accepted norm they felt obliged to buy for all and sundry, as they wheeled their overloaded trolleys around the malls listening to the background music of ‘Ding dong merrily on high’ or some other commercial Christmas sing-song. Most looked stressed as babies yelled and people queued.

People from around the country were rushing off to have their ‘holidays’. Some were heading to local seaside resorts and the more affluent were heading to places further afield. Very few seemed content to stay at home.

Most people did the usual things, braaied their meat and drank their drink in an attempt to make them feel ‘happy’ and accepted. Christians celebrated Christmas and for most it was — as usual — a day of excess, with paper and presents piled up high, trees cut down still in their infancy so they could be decorated, crackers, food and drink adorning the tables and everyone ate, drank and made merry because it is ‘normal’ and the traditional and accepted way to do things.

Some went off to church because it is also the right thing to do, and they would feel guilty if they did not. Others did not, as they follow some other ‘God’, that they feel is the ONLY and real God or Messiah, and so it goes on and we continue on the ‘merry-go-round called life’.

What is so amazing about all this is that all these ‘things’ are found outside of us and provide temporary and shallow relief from

the real issues that surely need to be explored and embraced if we are to truly feel peaceful. We are certainly not going to find peace from another commercial trick persuading us to buy some new ‘toy’… car, gadget, item of clothing etc., and we are certainly not going to find peace as we poison our bodies with ‘spirits’ as we desperately search to find the spirit that we have not realized or forgotten is there. Maybe we find a little peace as we spend time with people we love, although that is debatable, as it also temporary and often challenging.

I wonder how many of us actually stopped to think about the consequences of our choices over the holidays. What was our contribution to the emissions causing global warming as we drove or flew to our destinations, or the excessive waste that we accumulated that got dumped (that would have been better never created in the first place, but at least recycled!) into the already full, methane emitting ‘land-fills’, or the environmental devastation and extreme cruelty that commercially grown and slaughtered animals contribute to and suffer from as we fill our plates to make our ‘feasts’.

So what will allow us to find inner peace? Maybe it goes back to the saying…. ‘live simply so that others can simply live’, and does ‘others’ apply to only humans? I don’t know for sure, but what I do know, is that I do have moments when I feel peaceful and these are the moments when I am doing simple things like loving my children and animals, walking in the mountain, riding my horse, tending my vegetable garden, making a meal from the things I have grown, or quietly reading a book.

But these things are still outside of me, and even though they are simple, cost little or nothing and are not commercially driven, they are still temporary. I have recently started to meditate twice a day and during these times I feel very peaceful and I am beginning to find that these periods of peace are becoming more frequent and stay a little longer as I do my daily activities. I still have a long way to go, but maybe this is something that needs to be explored. It is certainly not governed by any separate ‘God’ outside of us.

This has historically only led to wars and fear based beliefs, but rather it is a deep knowing and realization that we and everything and everyone around us ARE all God, and interconnected via an intelligent creative divine force, that responds to our feelings of gratitude and heart-felt requests and that until we truly embrace and understand the meaning of this we will never really find true peace.

It we study the way the ancient tribes live, we see that they are fully aware of the interconnectedness of all, in both the physical and etheric realms. They realize that by trashing their habitat they trash themselves. To cause harm to anything or anybody is to harm themselves, as this filters out into the morphogenic field which then becomes chaotic and disconnected. They have no need to rush anywhere on holiday, or to buy the latest gadget or fashion item, or to go to fancy restaurants, to try and find peace and happiness. Their peace and happiness is right inside of them, not outside.

So my New Year’s resolutions are to try and nurture and connect with that which is inside of me and with my body that houses it. To connect with, give thanks for and celebrate nature and the changing seasons and to do as little harm to the planet, animals and people as I possibly can by living simply and organically… and also to spend more time with people that I can laugh with!

Try holding your breath and laughing at the same time… you can’t, your breath fills you with life-force or prana or God, and when we are frightened or stressed, what do we do? Hold our breath!

So I am going to breathe and laugh a lot!



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