How Can Flexible Thinking Bring Us Peace?

Psychological Flexibility

Overview

Flexible thinking, also known as psychological flexibility, allows us to turn toward our discomfort and disquiet in a way that is open, curious, and kind.

It’s about looking in a nonjudgmental and compassionate way at the places in ourselves and in our lives where we hurt, because the things that have the power to cause us the most pain are often the things we care about most deeply.

Psychological Flexibility Practices

  • Defusion
    See our thoughts with enough distance that we can choose what we do next, regardless of our mind’s chatter.
  • Self
    Notice the story we’ve constructed of our self and gain perspective about who we are.
  • Acceptance
    Allow ourselves to feel even when the feelings are painful or create a sense of vulnerability.
  • Presence
    Direct attention in an intentional way rather than by mere habit, noticing what is present here and now, inside us and out.
  • Values
    Choose the qualities of being and doing that we want to evolve toward.
  • Action
    Create habits that support these choices.

A Liberated Mind
A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters

Steven C. Hayes, PhD

How Can We Transform The World?

Self Transformation

What you are, the world is.
And without your transformation, there can be no transformation of the world.

     — Krishnamurti

Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti
Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti
…..Krishnamurti
……. J. Krishnamurti
……. Wikipedia

Ancient Roman Logistics & Expenses

Ancient Rome

Military Considerations

Half Rome’s budget at end 4th century went to feeding & paying the army of about ½ million.

Logistics of army supply was the single most important element that linked the imperial provinces together, along with the need to feed the imperial capitals.

Imperial Tax System

Underpinning all these structures, and making them possible, was the imperial tax system, which was based above all on a land tax, assessed on acreage, through buttressed by a much lighter tax on merchants and artisans.

High taxes were needed for several reasons:

  • To pay the salaries of soldiers, bureaucrats and messengers.
  • To feed the capitals of the empire.
  • To fund the enormous scale of Roman public buildings and state wealth. 
  • To connect the different parts of the empire together physically, as grain in ships moved northwards from Africa, Sicily and Egypt, and olive oil moved out of Africa, the Aegean and Syria. The movement of goods was essentially Mediterranean-based, as it was far easier and cheaper to transport in bulk by water than by land.

The Inheritance of Rome
The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000

Chris Wickham

Tao Te Ching – A Timeless Message

The Tao

The way you can go
isn’t the real way.
The name you can say
isn’t the real name.

Heaven and earth
begin in the unnamed:
name’s the mother
of the ten thousand things.

So the unwanting soul
sees what’s hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants.

Two things, one origin
but different name,
Mystery of all mysteries!
The door to the hidden.

…..Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way
Ursula K. Le Guin
….. Ursula K. Le Guin website
….. Wikipedia


The Tao Te Ching was probably written about 2,500 years ago by a man called Lao Tzu, who may have lived at about the same time as Confucius. Nothing about it is certain except that it’s Chinese, any very old, and speaks to people everywhere as if it had been written yesterday.

The Tao Te Ching is partly prose, partly verse; but not as we define poetry now, not by rhyme and meter but as patterned intensity of language, the whole thing is poetry. I wanted to catch the poetry, its terse, strange beauty. Most translations have caught meanings in their net, but prosily, letting the beauty slip through. And in poetry, beauty is no ornament; it is meaning. It is the truth… I wanted a Book of the Way accessible to a present-day… perhaps un-male reader, not seeking esoteric secrets, but listening for a voice that speaks to the soul.

…..Ursula K. Le Guin

Healing Our Pain Through Transcendence

Transcendence

Life is Painful

There is a lot of pain in human life. Sometimes our pain is caused by an outside tragedy, such as difficult circumstances we go through. Sometimes events shake our world to its core. Other times we feel internal and emotional pain – which we are all very vulnerable to.

The Pain of Separation

The sense of being human, of being a person, is also painful because we feel a separation between ourselves and others, a separation between ourselves and the world. As long as this sense of fundamental separation continues in our consciousness, there is always going to be pain, pain that we cannot really describe – it is an existential pain. This pain also causes loneliness that can be deeper than just longing for companionship.

Healing Through Transcendence

The pain of this loneliness won’t go away by trying to fill our inner vacuum through acquiring external comforts. It can, however, be healed through what might be called true transcendence, which is the goal of many spiritual traditions, even many that don’t accept each other’s doctrines. True transcendence is the experience that we are no longer trapped in the narrow realm of the ego.

There is a part of us that longs to experience transcendence. Transcendence gives us the sense that all of our problems are gone. It is the sense that somehow we are one with everything. We don’t have to be spiritual to have this longing for transcendence. It is a universal longing.

Choosing Compassion
Choosing Compassion: How to Be of Benefit in a World That Needs Our Love

Anam Thubten

Background on Anam Thubten