Last night I went to a lecture. It's not often I do things like that. But when I returned to Perth and was feeling like being all "grab life by balls and do stuff" this was one of the things I signed up for.
Of course weeks later I turn up and I'm sitting there thinking how I'm uncomfortable, would rather be at home, do I really need to hear this.... I seem to _always_ schedule things for myself that by the time they arrive I no longer feel the passion for. So what did I get out of this lecture in the end?
It was at The School of Philosophy and it was on 'The Anatomy of Anger' by Dr Clive Lamond.
I didn't take notes because I didn't think I'd read back on them but I have a shocking memory so I am likely to forget it all anyway. So instead after the lecture I just drew some things that stood out for me.
I like little symbols for ideas, they work as reminders for the meaning.
The first thing I remembered was Clive describing the concept of dark can't defeat dark.
Anger never solves Anger.
And yeah it made perfect sense, you can't make a dark situation lighter by applying more darkness.
You have to shine a light on it to change it!
The Inner Hexagon.
Have you heard of it?
I hadn't known of this analogy before. Story goes, a peaceful Indian dude (Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati) was asked how he felt about the end of WWII and said that there would be no real end to war or peace unless individuals dealt with the inner 'war' which he described as the inner hexagon. 6 elements we fight within ourselves.
He said these inner enemies are:
ambition, anger, greed, false attachment, vanity and jealousy
The actual quote I just found is:
"Real victory is that, after which there can never be a reverse. Nobody can call himself a victor forever merely by crushing an external foe, because such foes can spring up again. A real victory is achieved by bringing under control the internal foes. A check over the internal enemies is therefore the only way of conquering the external enemies forever, because we should bear in mind that it is our own internal enemies which create the external enemies."
So much more eloquent this dude...
Then we did the anatomy part and I liked seeing a diagram of the brain showing how huge our reasoning section is, our frontal lobes compared with that tiny pea-sized part responsibe for our more basic instincts and body-on-auto stuff. This includes (can you work it out from my pic?) anger, emotion, sexual desire, breathing, heart beat and pressure, fright/flight.
The point made was that we can actually control these instincts with will power (once they arise!).
I don't often like to think how I'm better than a lizard, but perhaps it's worth noting the difference. I may have these auto things pop up but I am able to reason and CHOOSE a response.
And most of all I love this plasto-lastic-tastic idea that we can change and grow our brains! So I can train it. Suddenly there is no 'I can't' but we all could!
And lastly, this little point he made in question time was the major thing I got out of the talk !
He said "We can't dig a well if we just keep digging new holes"
"So find one practice and follow it through!"
And a light went off in me.... that's what I've been doing! I try everything and don't really stick with one thing. And the more styles of meditation, yoga, exercise and self-help I come across the more bloody holes I have and I seem to get further away from some of my deeper goals.
Can you see what things _could_ be like?
[current mood] Hommus w/ Carrots & Bombay Bicycle Club