Lesson from the Distant Past: Journey of Freedom 2017–Day 18

Copyright Tam Black 2015
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Guiding Thought

Your connection with the Infinite Source of Love is and always has been enough. Love loves you always, everywhere. Assured in love, you are perfectly lovable and perfectly loving with all people in all situations.


The theme, so to say, for this Journey is “judge nothing”. With the intention of judging nothing, the idea is to become more-free through releasing judgment. (I find it’s often useful to remind myself why I’m doing this Journey in the first place).

However, on a larger scale, I have been working on Freedom as release from ego and release from ignorance, to the end of making room for Divine Love and Light to enter and remain.

There are a couple of things that have come up since yesterday’s reflection, regarding these two points.

First, I received some “really good” news recently. It was something that has been in motion for over a year, and now (finally) completion! “Good news”!

I put “good news” in quotes because while I was very happy to receive this news, I reminded myself to judge nothing. Often, I apply “judge nothing” to things that I feel are “bad”—so that I will feel more neutral about it (and not think of it as “bad”). With this “good” news, I realized the same must be said/done for so-called positive things too.

Then I thought about equanimity, the (primarily) Buddhist notion of mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper. People in Western societies are not raised with this idea of equanimity; they are raised with the idea of the pain-pleasure principle: people seek pleasure and avoid pain, and this is what motivates all action.

But, if we learn to live with an idea of “judge nothing”, then all pain or pleasure becomes equal. There is no push or pull to seek or avoid. I understood “judge nothing” as a Western-style root of equanimity. What do you think?

Second, I began reading some poetry known as the 100 Verses of Renunciation, by Bhartri Hari. Bhartri Hari was the brother of King Vikram of India (exact time unknown, but a near-estimate is 46 C.E.), who, similar to Siddhārtha Gautama, abandoned his high status to live an ascetic lifestyle and devote himself to seeking spiritual enlightenment.

I only read 48 of the 100 verses today, but I was struck with the parallel between what he writes about and the “trap” of worldly attachments (like seeking pleasure and avoiding pain) people have today.

Verse 44: Seeing even the same night to be ever following the same day, in vain do creatures run on their worldly course, preservingly and busy with various activities agoing secretly—i.e. by individual mental resolves. Alas, through infatuation we do not feel ashamed at being thus befooled by this samsara (illusory life), with occupations in which the same particulars repeat themselves!

In other words: People chase desires (for example, avoiding pain and seeking pleasure), every day over and over (the same night following the same day), and the chasing never grows old. The “infatuation” keeps us chasing, because the infatuation seems to keep all things new. With every new desire, every new chase, people feel invigorated…but that invigoration is the samsara, the illusion.

Illusion creates that which it seeks only to fulfill itself.

I feel a bit of a kindred spirit in Bhartri Hari, in this recognition, and impetus to stop the “chase”.

Release the desires. Release the pull of pleasure, the avoidance of pain. Know equanimity. Break the cycle. Be free.