A Philosophical Question

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A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:08 am

I am wondering if anyone here has found success in a way of dealing with their own sense of righteousness.

This can be anywhere from people running a stop sign while you're waiting politely, up to someone trying to rip you off on a business deal and so on.

The only things I've found that work are either (a) dialogue and kindness (b) letting go of negative thoughts if they don't serve you, or (c) standing up to injustice.

I've listened to a lot of people complain the last week about other's behavior, and I've asked a number of people how they deal with these situations.

But haven't heard any good consensus. Opinions?
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Turdacious » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:11 am

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:29 pm

Never go full retard?
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by JimZipCode » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:43 pm

Bram wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:08 am
I've listened to a lot of people complain the last week about other's behavior, and I've asked a number of people how they deal with these situations.

But haven't heard any good consensus.

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Thud » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:56 pm

I go where I always go: snooty, condescending passive-aggressive snark. That's what works for me.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by nafod » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 pm

The only things I've found that work are either (a) dialogue and kindness (b) letting go of negative thoughts if they don't serve you, or (c) standing up to injustice.
Plan D is from Constructive Living, the Naikan therapy portion of it.

http://www.todoinstitute.org/naikan3.html
How to Practice Naikan Reflection
The Three Questions
Naikan reflection is based on three questions:

- What have I received from __________ ?
- What have I given to __________ ?
- What troubles and difficulties have I caused __________ ?

These questions provide a foundation for reflecting on relationships with others such as parents, friends, teachers, siblings, work associates, children, and partners. We can reflect on ourselves in relation to pets, or even objects which serve us such as cars and pianos. In each case, we search for a more realistic view of our conduct and of the give and take which has occurred in the relationship.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:57 pm

Bram wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:08 am
I am wondering if anyone here has found success in a way of dealing with their own sense of righteousness.

This can be anywhere from people running a stop sign while you're waiting politely, up to someone trying to rip you off on a business deal and so on.

The only things I've found that work are either (a) dialogue and kindness (b) letting go of negative thoughts if they don't serve you, or (c) standing up to injustice.

I've listened to a lot of people complain the last week about other's behavior, and I've asked a number of people how they deal with these situations.

But haven't heard any good consensus. Opinions?
I doubt you will find "consensus" in part because different situations require different responses. Sometimes you need to let things go, but rarely, you must stand on your own sense of rightness. Or be a navel gazing Naikan fag like nafod.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:37 pm

nafod wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 pm
The only things I've found that work are either (a) dialogue and kindness (b) letting go of negative thoughts if they don't serve you, or (c) standing up to injustice.
Plan D is from Constructive Living, the Naikan therapy portion of it.

http://www.todoinstitute.org/naikan3.html
How to Practice Naikan Reflection
The Three Questions
Naikan reflection is based on three questions:

- What have I received from __________ ?
- What have I given to __________ ?
- What troubles and difficulties have I caused __________ ?

These questions provide a foundation for reflecting on relationships with others such as parents, friends, teachers, siblings, work associates, children, and partners. We can reflect on ourselves in relation to pets, or even objects which serve us such as cars and pianos. In each case, we search for a more realistic view of our conduct and of the give and take which has occurred in the relationship.
That's an interesting perspective. I was able to get it more by following the link and doing a little more reading.

One of the people I have an issue with has done numerous nice things for me and I haven't been fairly reciprocal. I've also caused him a little bit of problems. Haha, he's still a cunt though - to me and others. But I can try and balance the scales with a possible opportunity I have in the future. Thanks Nafod!
"Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there its sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops." - H.L. Mencken

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:05 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:57 pm
I doubt you will find "consensus" in part because different situations require different responses. Sometimes you need to let things go, but rarely, you must stand on your own sense of rightness. Or be a navel gazing Naikan fag like nafod.
The ultimate goal is to keep my peace of mind as much as possible. And that does require different responses.

I do cause a lot more problems by getting in my head on things. If I was just to let my thoughts go every time they turn negative or calculating, and nothing else, it would solve almost everything.
"Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there its sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops." - H.L. Mencken

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Sangoma » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:26 pm

The ultimate goal is to keep my peace of mind as much as possible. And that does require different responses.
Peace of mind is not a something that can be a goal and it is not the result of some responses. Peace of mind arises from the satisfaction with who you are. It's the same with other seemingly outward qualities. Take fame, for example: it is the side-effect of being exceptionally good at something. You can become famous overnight by, for example, killing John Lennon, but we all know the value of this kind of fame. Confidence: when you know you have the shit together, not when you hold your chin up and say cool phrases.

Peace of mind is not the result of response, rather response produced is the result of the state of your mind. Some guy's peace of mind cannot be shaken by almost anything, that's, I think, is something to think of.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:20 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:26 pm
The ultimate goal is to keep my peace of mind as much as possible. And that does require different responses.
Peace of mind is not a something that can be a goal and it is not the result of some responses. Peace of mind arises from the satisfaction with who you are. It's the same with other seemingly outward qualities. Take fame, for example: it is the side-effect of being exceptionally good at something. You can become famous overnight by, for example, killing John Lennon, but we all know the value of this kind of fame. Confidence: when you know you have the shit together, not when you hold your chin up and say cool phrases.

Peace of mind is not the result of response, rather response produced is the result of the state of your mind. Some guy's peace of mind cannot be shaken by almost anything, that's, I think, is something to think of.
Your argument has a flaw:

If A (peace of mind) can come from B (satisfaction with who you are), then pursuing B can cause A. And ultimately peace of mind can be achieved from pursuing the goal of self-satisfaction. Whether you get there directly or indirectly shouldn't be important, right?

As an aside, because I am assuming you have read my journal which contains my lengthy and often-modified mantra, I focused for a month purely on "forgiveness." I forgave people who were mean as a kid, as a young adult, etc. I chose to forgive a family member who said some horrible things to me, and now we have quite a good relationship. Not just me and him, but me and his wife, me and his son. His son and my cousins as well.

I didn't tell myself "peace of mind," but by telling myself "forgiveness" I created a greater peace of mind. I don't have the answers or I wouldn't have started this thread, but a different attitude could lead to better interactions. Thanks for getting me thinking!
"Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there its sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops." - H.L. Mencken

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by syaigh » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:54 pm

I try and forgive them and move on. If you stay angry about it, it just poisons you in the long run. I have also found that the grand transgressors eventually get what's coming to them. Its actually kind of scary how often that comes true. People who have treated me (and others) in egregious ways have found themselves in a big pile of shit down the road. All due to their own choices and the path they chose to walk. So, now I just hope they learn to be better people or simply expect to see them in news, the hospital, in jail, or dead down the road. It may take a few years, but it happens to almost every single one of them. And I don't really care.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:56 pm

I had a co-worker who bullied me for about 3 years...only when I was feeling unconfident or down would he ever pull anything. Finally I had enough and told him if he ever did anything again I wouldn't put up with it, he made fun of me and I said let's go right now and that was the end of that.

I think forgiveness is amazing, but some people act like douchebags and at some point enough is enough.

---on another side-note: I was convinced he was gonna fuck with me again, so the weekend before all this happened I drunkenly slap boxed a female stripper to get my range ready, it was at a party and she was trying to fight anyone. Ended up breaking her friends shoes and spent the rest of the night shoeless as I felt bad about it and gave her my size 13 flip-flops.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by nafod » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:09 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:57 pm
Or be a navel gazing Naikan fag like nafod.
Saw this science story about Fat Cat the other day...
Study: People Would Rather Give Themselves Electric Shocks Than Be Alone with Their Thoughts

The experiment was simple. All the participants had to do was enter an empty room, sit down, and think for six to 15 minutes. But without a cellphone, a book, or a television screen to stare at, the assignment quickly became too much to handle. In fact, even when individuals were given time to "prepare" for being alone — meaning that they were able to plan what they would think about during their moments of solitude — the participants still "found it hard," Timothy Wilson, a psychologist at the University of Virginia and lead author of the study, told The Washington Post. "People didn’t like it much."

So the researchers decided to give each participant the option of doing something else, besides just thinking. But what they came up with wasn’t exactly pleasant because, instead of just sitting there, participants were now also allowed to shock themselves as many times as they liked with a device containing a 9 volt battery. Still, for many, that option seemed like a better deal.

Most of the people who decided to shock themselves did so seven times. These results baffled the researchers. "I mean, no one was going to shock themselves by choice," Wilson, told The Washington Post in reference to his initial position during the conception of the study, published yesterday in Science. One man even gave himself 190 electric shocks over a period of 15 minutes, Wilson told The Atlantic, but his data points weren’t included in the final analysis. "I’m still just puzzled by that."
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Hebrew Hammer » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:35 pm

The problem with answers is that there are often two of them and they're opposite -- "opportunity knocks only once," so jump on it; "look before you leap," take a breath an be careful before jumping. "Penny wise-pound foolish" v. "a penny saved is a penny earned." "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" v. "beware the Trojan horse."

To my mind, it's about judgment, and making it a practice. A wonderful book is Pierre Hadot: Philosophy as a Way of Life, Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Turdacious » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:46 pm

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Sangoma » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:11 am

Bram wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:20 pm
Sangoma wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:26 pm
The ultimate goal is to keep my peace of mind as much as possible. And that does require different responses.
Peace of mind is not a something that can be a goal and it is not the result of some responses. Peace of mind arises from the satisfaction with who you are. It's the same with other seemingly outward qualities. Take fame, for example: it is the side-effect of being exceptionally good at something. You can become famous overnight by, for example, killing John Lennon, but we all know the value of this kind of fame. Confidence: when you know you have the shit together, not when you hold your chin up and say cool phrases.

Peace of mind is not the result of response, rather response produced is the result of the state of your mind. Some guy's peace of mind cannot be shaken by almost anything, that's, I think, is something to think of.
Your argument has a flaw:

If A (peace of mind) can come from B (satisfaction with who you are), then pursuing B can cause A. And ultimately peace of mind can be achieved from pursuing the goal of self-satisfaction. Whether you get there directly or indirectly shouldn't be important, right?

As an aside, because I am assuming you have read my journal which contains my lengthy and often-modified mantra, I focused for a month purely on "forgiveness." I forgave people who were mean as a kid, as a young adult, etc. I chose to forgive a family member who said some horrible things to me, and now we have quite a good relationship. Not just me and him, but me and his wife, me and his son. His son and my cousins as well.

I didn't tell myself "peace of mind," but by telling myself "forgiveness" I created a greater peace of mind. I don't have the answers or I wouldn't have started this thread, but a different attitude could lead to better interactions. Thanks for getting me thinking!


Bram, it is not an argument, just my opinion. Also - my opinion - logic as we know it does not apply to things of this kind. The kind that is hard to define. Satisfaction, happiness, suffering etc. Long time ago one Nagarjuna came up with tetralemma, something that drives Western minds bananas, but I think his approach makes way more sense than Aristotelian logic.

I have not read your journal, but you explained your meditations in your previous posts. As far as forgiveness is concerned, I think about it the same way as peace of mind: it comes from change of perspective. One way - to start treating things equally. An example: you are walking across the field in dusk. The ground is uneven, and in the descending dark you trip over a rock, fall down and hit your forehead against another rock. Fucking hurts for couple of minutes. Then the pain subsides and you forgive the field, the sunset and both stones... Sounds stupid, doesn't it, you can only forgive another human being, right? But then if you think about it our free will is very limited at best, and our actions are determined by many factors, the multitude of causes and effects, intertwined in complicated and unpredictable ways. In other words the person that did some shit that hurt you is not that different from a rock that was poorly visible in the dim light of the sunset. What I am getting at (poorly) is that we get caught in the context, even though the result is the same. What's the difference if I got wet in the rain as opposed to someone emptying a bucket of water out of their window? You cannot get angry (or forgive) an inanimate object. But then when you start treating both in the same way forgiveness becomes meaningless.

Eloquence is not my strongest quality, and these things are not easy to talk about. Long time ago one guy - the Buddha - figured out a lot of things for us. The Four Noble Truths pretty much explain the state of affairs and the Eightfold Path is a pretty clear blueprint for achieving the peace of mind. Anything else - artificial additions. I think large part of the blame for the proliferation quasi Buddhist practices lies with the popularity of Tibetan Buddhism in the last decades. But that's another topic for the heated debate altogether.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:58 pm

Study: People Would Rather Give Themselves Electric Shocks Than Be Alone with Their Thoughts

The experiment was simple. All the participants had to do was enter an empty room, sit down, and think for six to 15 minutes. But without a cellphone, a book, or a television screen to stare at, the assignment quickly became too much to handle. In fact, even when individuals were given time to "prepare" for being alone — meaning that they were able to plan what they would think about during their moments of solitude — the participants still "found it hard," Timothy Wilson, a psychologist at the University of Virginia and lead author of the study, told The Washington Post. "People didn’t like it much."

So the researchers decided to give each participant the option of doing something else, besides just thinking. But what they came up with wasn’t exactly pleasant because, instead of just sitting there, participants were now also allowed to shock themselves as many times as they liked with a device containing a 9 volt battery. Still, for many, that option seemed like a better deal.

Most of the people who decided to shock themselves did so seven times. These results baffled the researchers. "I mean, no one was going to shock themselves by choice," Wilson, told The Washington Post in reference to his initial position during the conception of the study, published yesterday in Science. One man even gave himself 190 electric shocks over a period of 15 minutes, Wilson told The Atlantic, but his data points weren’t included in the final analysis. "I’m still just puzzled by that."
If nothing else, I can definitely put up with my thoughts for 15 minutes. No wonder more people don't meditate. They'd rather shock themselves than sit quietly.
"Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there its sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops." - H.L. Mencken

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:00 pm

Hebrew Hammer wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:35 pm
The problem with answers is that there are often two of them and they're opposite -- "opportunity knocks only once," so jump on it; "look before you leap," take a breath an be careful before jumping. "Penny wise-pound foolish" v. "a penny saved is a penny earned." "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" v. "beware the Trojan horse."

To my mind, it's about judgment, and making it a practice. A wonderful book is Pierre Hadot: Philosophy as a Way of Life, Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault.
That's probably part of my problem. Looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, when the reality is a mixed bag approach if you really want to maintain a state of composure/alignment with the Universe. Sometimes you gotta back off, sometimes you gotta throat punch.

Thanks for the book suggestion!
"Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there its sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops." - H.L. Mencken

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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:12 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:11 am

Bram, it is not an argument, just my opinion. Also - my opinion - logic as we know it does not apply to things of this kind. The kind that is hard to define. Satisfaction, happiness, suffering etc. Long time ago one Nagarjuna came up with tetralemma, something that drives Western minds bananas, but I think his approach makes way more sense than Aristotelian logic.

I have not read your journal, but you explained your meditations in your previous posts. As far as forgiveness is concerned, I think about it the same way as peace of mind: it comes from change of perspective. One way - to start treating things equally. An example: you are walking across the field in dusk. The ground is uneven, and in the descending dark you trip over a rock, fall down and hit your forehead against another rock. Fucking hurts for couple of minutes. Then the pain subsides and you forgive the field, the sunset and both stones... Sounds stupid, doesn't it, you can only forgive another human being, right? But then if you think about it our free will is very limited at best, and our actions are determined by many factors, the multitude of causes and effects, intertwined in complicated and unpredictable ways. In other words the person that did some shit that hurt you is not that different from a rock that was poorly visible in the dim light of the sunset. What I am getting at (poorly) is that we get caught in the context, even though the result is the same. What's the difference if I got wet in the rain as opposed to someone emptying a bucket of water out of their window? You cannot get angry (or forgive) an inanimate object. But then when you start treating both in the same way forgiveness becomes meaningless.

Eloquence is not my strongest quality, and these things are not easy to talk about. Long time ago one guy - the Buddha - figured out a lot of things for us. The Four Noble Truths pretty much explain the state of affairs and the Eightfold Path is a pretty clear blueprint for achieving the peace of mind. Anything else - artificial additions. I think large part of the blame for the proliferation quasi Buddhist practices lies with the popularity of Tibetan Buddhism in the last decades. But that's another topic for the heated debate altogether.
Following the Buddhism tract: I think you can tell yourself "be desire-less" (as for one example of trying to follow the Noble Truths) and actually have some success with it....but it can also be extremely fucking hard. You note the desire to eat a bag of cookies for example, then have no cookies. Simply avoiding the cookies because desire preceded it.

As for logic....it's all pretty confusing. I know for example that if I tell myself "have fun" I actually will have more fun. But I can't do that for other things as easily. Trying to hack it together in a way that works for me. Sorry for thinking you were arguing.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:20 pm

It's also a contradiction: desiring to be desire-less. Personally, I prefer the Stoic concept that rather than trying to rid ourselves of desire, we should train our desires to higher things.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Sangoma » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:26 pm

Desire-less-ness as the goal is a serious misconception. Human psyche is driven by the reward-punishment system, and our minds filter events as good, bad or neutral, and we cannot change what wee feel. What we can change is the attitude. In Buddhism they talk about clinging to desires, rather than desires themselves. In this regard Stoics and Buddhists are similar (as are true practitioners of any major religion): they accept whatever comes their way. He giveth and He taketh away is probably the most familiar adage for most of us. As long as you start realising that there is absolutely nothing permanent in this world life becomes a touch easier. This realisation, however, is a really large undertaking.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Fat Cat » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

Sangoma wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:26 pm
Desire-less-ness as the goal is a serious misconception. Human psyche is driven by the reward-punishment system, and our minds filter events as good, bad or neutral, and we cannot change what wee feel. What we can change is the attitude. In Buddhism they talk about clinging to desires, rather than desires themselves. In this regard Stoics and Buddhists are similar (as are true practitioners of any major religion): they accept whatever comes their way. He giveth and He taketh away is probably the most familiar adage for most of us. As long as you start realising that there is absolutely nothing permanent in this world life becomes a touch easier. This realisation, however, is a really large undertaking.
This is why a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. You are talking about the Four Noble Truths but haven't given it much thought.

The process of causality is eternal. This is the beginning of wisdom. It is what Lord Buddha refer to as idapaccayatā or, in reference to human lives, paṭiccasamuppāda in Pali. After the Lord Buddha's enlightenment, the first sutta that he taught was the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, wherein he expounded the Four Noble Truths. In it he clearly states what it is that he "awoke" to: that all things are conditional, yes, but that conditionality is the Eternal Truth. It was by examining the causal relationship that he developed the Four Noble Truths by applying it to human suffering, but it is equally applicable to all things in all places.

He who sees the Paṭiccasamuppāda sees the Dhamma;
He who sees the Dhamma sees the Paṭiccasamuppāda.

— Majjhima Nikaya 1.190

Contemplate this.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:50 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:20 pm
It's also a contradiction: desiring to be desire-less. Personally, I prefer the Stoic concept that rather than trying to rid ourselves of desire, we should train our desires to higher things.
Yeah, it's a bit like "letting go"....you have to also let go of letting go.

I appreciate the Stoic approach....I'll have to think about how I would approach that in my own life (what would I strive for). One weird detour I've taken is "doing my best." I had to give up on that, for surfing at least, as that is way too cerebral of a focus and made me surf like shit.
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Re: A Philosophical Question

Post by Bram » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:20 am

Sangoma wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:26 pm
Desire-less-ness as the goal is a serious misconception. Human psyche is driven by the reward-punishment system, and our minds filter events as good, bad or neutral, and we cannot change what wee feel. What we can change is the attitude. In Buddhism they talk about clinging to desires, rather than desires themselves. In this regard Stoics and Buddhists are similar (as are true practitioners of any major religion): they accept whatever comes their way. He giveth and He taketh away is probably the most familiar adage for most of us. As long as you start realising that there is absolutely nothing permanent in this world life becomes a touch easier. This realisation, however, is a really large undertaking.
Acceptance is a good one - I will give that a go.

Impermanence is a great concept....and one of my favorite subjects to meditate on. Say impermanent slowly 100 times and then get stuck in traffic and it's a lot easier to deal with. I've also been looking into wabisabi lately, it's a Japanese concept (not a mustard) that concerns the beauty of imperfection and impermanence.

Half-way through a short book on it I found by Leonard Koren:

https://www.amazon.com/Wabi-Sabi-Artist ... 0981484603

But fuck if impermanence does not fit into my day to day - as a background noise it does (that little voice telling you things are impermanent), but as a forefront concept for myself it triggers me even more.
"Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there its sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops." - H.L. Mencken

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