Is Optimism a Way of Creating the Future?

Optimism

We Are Responsible for the Future

The possibilities that lie in the future are infinite. When I say ‘It is our duty to remain optimists,’ this includes not only the openness of the future, but also that which all of us contribute to it by everything we do.

We are responsible for what the future holds in store. It is our duty, not to prophesy evil, but, rather, to fight for a better world..

Karl Popper, The Myth of the Framework: In Defense of Science and Rationality

The Principle of Optimism

All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge.

Optimism is a way of explaining failure, not prophesying success. It says that there is no fundamental barrier, no law of nature or supernatural decree, preventing progress.

Whenever we try to improve things and fail, it is not because the spiteful (or benevolent) gods are thwarting us or punishing us for trying, or because we have reached a limit on the capacity of reason to make improvements, or because it is best that we fail, but always because we did not know enough, in time.

In addition, optimism is a stance towards the future, because nearly all failures, and nearly all successes, are yet to come.

The Beginning of Infinity
The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

David Deutsch

Background on David Deutsch

The Joy of Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual Awareness

The most amazing and strange thing about awakening to the truth of oneness is that there’s no such thing as oneness as an isolated phenomenon. It is just the absence of an illusory separation between oneself and the rest of the world.

When we wake up spiritually, nothing really changes. We are still breathing; the trees and mountains are still there. The only thing that changed was the disappearance of all the delusions of duality and the suffering generated by them. After awakening, we are able to find joy even in the smallest things.

The Magic of Awareness
The Magic of Awareness

Anam Thubten

Background on Anam Thubten

 

What is “Emptiness” in Buddhism?

Emptiness

Emptiness – Freedom from Illusions

From the vantage point of the ego, emptiness seems to be the darkness of the unknown, something that threatens the very foundation of our being.

However, in Buddhist philosophy, emptiness is the notion that all things are free from any fixed, independent, permanent existence. Emptiness is synonymous with truth since it describes a state that goes beyond all intellectual comprehension, and thus is empty of all illusions

Characteristics of Emptiness

Emptiness is the divine fire that burns all concepts and the holy water that washes away all misery:

  • The source, or ground, of all things.
  • Synonymous with truth.
  • Beyond intellectual comprehension.
  • Not nihilistic nothingness.
  • The realm of love and compassion.
  • Free from any fixed, independent, permanent existence.

No Self, No Problem
No Self, No Problem: Awakening to Our True Nature
Anam Thubten

 

 


Anam Thubten
Anam Thubten

. Dharmata Foundation

Anam Thubten grew up in Tibet and at an early age began to practice in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Among his many teachers, his most formative guides were Lama Tsurlo, Khenpo Chopel, and Lama Garwang.

He is the founder and spiritual advisor of Dharmata Foundation, with headquarters in Point Richmond, California.

Anam Thubten has been teaching in the West since the early 1990s, and he teaches widely in the U.S. and abroad. He has written various articles and books in both Tibetan and English.

Books written by Anam Thubten include:

 

What Happens If We Let Go Completely?

Letting Go

If you let go a little
you will have a little happiness.
If you let go a lot
you will have a lot of happiness.
If you let go completely
you will be free.

…..Ajahn Chah

The Path to Freedom

One of the essential tasks for living a wise life is letting go. Letting go is the path to freedom. It is only by letting go of the hopes, the fears, the pain, the past, the stories that have a hold on us that we can quiet our mind and open our heart.

We can trust the courage and vulnerability of our heart to meet life as it is – we can rest kindly where we are. As we let go, the tender ground of honesty, healing, and love will carry us through the ever-changing world.

Letting Go of the Past

Letting go doesn’t mean losing the knowledge we have gained from the past. The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit. Like emptying a cup, letting go leaves us free to receive – refreshed, sensitive, and awake.

Letting go isn’t the same as aversion, struggling to get rid of something. We cannot genuinely let go of what we resist. What we resist and fear secretly follows us even as we push it away. To let go of fear or trauma, we need to acknowledge just how it is. We need to feel it fully and accept that it is so. It is as it is.

Becoming Free

Letting go begins with letting be. When we learn to let things be, they gradually lose their power – they cease to disturb us.

As we allow what is true, space comes into the body and mind. We breathe and soften and come to rest. In accepting it, we become free.

The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace
The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace
Jack Kornfield

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Jack Kornfield
Jack Kornfiled
born 1945

Jack Kornfield
. Wikipedia

Jack Kornfield is an author, Buddhist practitioner and one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West.

Kornfiled is a teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism. He trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India, first as a student of the Thai forest master Ajahn Chah, and Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma.

He has taught meditation worldwide since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist Mindfulness practice to the West. In 1975, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and subsequently in 1987, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.

Kornfield has organized teacher training and led international gatherings of Buddhist teachers including the Dalai Lama and has worked as a peacemaker and activist.

What is the Power of Compassion?

Compassion
Compassion Leads to Reconciliation

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.
These are your greatest treasures.

Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.

    Lao-Tzu

Book of Awakening
Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
Mark Nepo

Background on Mark Nepo

 


Lao-Tzu
Lao-Tzu
6th or 4th century BC

 

Lao-Tzu (also Laozi, Li Er or Lao-Tze) was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

semi-legendary figure, Lao-Tzu was usually portrayed as a 6th-century BC contemporary of Confucius, but some modern historians consider him to have lived during the 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Lao-Tzu is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage.