from Happiness by Matthieu Ricard:
"Destructive mental factors are deviations that gradually distance us from our true nature, to the point that we forget its very existence. And yet nothing is forever and irreparably lost. Even buried in filth, gold remains gold in its essential nature. The destructive emotions are merely veils, superimpositions. Father Pierre Ceyrac, a renowned Jesuit missionary who has cared for thirty thousand children in India over the past sixty years, told me: "Despite everything, I'm struck by the goodness of people, even those who seem to have their hearts and eyes shut. It is other people, all others, who create the fabric of our lives and shape the way we live. Each is a note in the 'great concert' of existence, as the poet Tagore phrased it. No one can resist the call of love. We always end up opening ourselves to it. I truly believe that man is intrinsically good. We must always see the good, the beautiful, in a person, never destroy, always look for someone's greatness without distinction of religion, caste, or belief."
The water of good qualities does not pool on top of the rock of pride.
Humility is like a vessel placed at ground level, ready to receive the rain of qualities.
Ricard: "At the collective level, pride is expressed in the conviction of being superior to others as a nation or a race, of being the guardian of the true values of civilization, and of the need to impose this dominant "model" on "ignorant" peoples by any means available. This attitude often serves as pretext for "developing" the resources of underdeveloped countries. The conquistadors and their bishops burned the vast Mayan and Aztec libraries of Mexico, of which barely a dozen volumes survive. Chinese textbooks and media continue to describe Tibetans as backward barbarians and the Dalai Lama as a monster. It was pride, above all, that allowed the Chinese to ignore the hundreds of thousands of volumes of philosophy housed in Tibetan monasteries before they demolished six thousand of those centers of learning."
I sit with all this tonight. I know that suffering is wanting things to be different than they are. I believe in evolution, want to believe that we keep rising, circling upward in understanding and compassion and maybe I need to orient myself more to the changing tides, the phases of the moon. Perhaps peace is there.
Today I stood on the beach and flew a stunt kite. You use two hands and the power of the wind moves through you. It is an incredible meditation, a balancing of left and right, and earth and sky. May this be so!
I set intention for today and tomorrow.