Karmacology: Mindful Living, Sacred Practice

Ready to Try the Untried

We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.
-- Eric Hoffer

Side Note: The idea for one of the most famous toys in history was inspired by a meter for testing horsepower on battleships. A torsion spring used in a testing meter fell from the desk of marine engineer Richard James and tumbled end-over-end across the floor. James took it home to his wife Betty and said, "I think I can make a toy out of this." This he did by devising a steel formula that allowed the spring to "walk." Betty went through the dictionary for a fitting name for the toy and found it in SLINKY, which was defined as "stealthy, sleek and sinuous." In 1945, as Christmas neared, Gimbel's department store agreed to provide counter space for 400 SLINKYs. Richard James was there to demonstrate the toy to a crowd of shoppers and within 90 minutes all 400 SLINKYs were sold.

Photo by ctrl-alt-grant

If You Refuse to be Made Straight

If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry.
-- African Proverb

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I Must Stop Doing What I've Been Doing

I've arrived at this outermost edge of my life by my own actions. Where I am is thoroughly unacceptable. Therefore, I must stop doing what I've been doing.
-- Alice Koller, An Unknown Woman, 1982

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If You Haven't Found Something Strange

If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day.
-- John A. Wheeler

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I Screamed at God for All the Starving Children...

I screamed at God for all the starving children, and then I realized that all of the starving children were God screaming at me.
-- Anonymous

From the New York Times, April 18, 2008:

Saint Louis Meriska’s children ate two spoonfuls of rice apiece as their only meal recently and then went without any food the following day. His eyes downcast, his own stomach empty, the unemployed father said forlornly, “They look at me and say, ‘Papa, I’m hungry,’ and I have to look away. It’s humiliating and it makes you angry.”

That anger is palpable across the globe. The food crisis is not only being felt among the poor but is also eroding the gains of the working and middle classes, sowing volatile levels of discontent and putting new pressures on fragile governments.

In Cairo, the military is being put to work baking bread as rising food prices threaten to become the spark that ignites wider anger at a repressive government. In Burkina Faso and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, food riots are breaking out as never before. In reasonably prosperous Malaysia, the ruling coalition was nearly ousted by voters who cited food and fuel price increases as their main concerns.

“It’s the worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years,” said Jeffrey D. Sachs, the economist and special adviser to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. “It’s a big deal and it’s obviously threatening a lot of governments. There are a number of governments on the ropes, and I think there’s more political fallout to come.”

In the image above, villagers near the city of Hyderabad recently jostled for rice that was being sold by government officials.
Photo by Kirshnendu Halder

Honor Rejoices the Heart of Age

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?
-- William J. Bennett, lecture to the United States Naval Academy, November 24, 1997

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Illuminate the Path According to Your Inner Light

Foster and polish
The warrior spirit
While serving in the world;
Illuminate the path
According to your inner light.
- Morihei Ueshiba

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The Direction of Your Train of Thought

Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going.
-- Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)

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